The IRS commissioner on Tuesday brushed aside GOP proposals to abolish his agency, insisting the U.S. would have to have a tax collector one way or another.
“You can call them something other than the IRS if that made you feel better,” the agency’s chief, John Koskinen, said after a speech at the National Press Club.
Republicans have heaped even more criticism upon the agency than usual over the last 22 months because of its improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) perhaps has made the most prominent calls to get rid of the IRS. While launching his presidential bid earlier in March, he floated the idea of “a simple flat tax that lets every American fill out his or her taxes on a postcard.”
“Imagine abolishing the IRS,” he added.
Koskinen said Tuesday that, even under the simplest of tax codes, the federal government would need an agency to collect revenue and administer the tax code, something Cruz’s own aides have also admitted.