Tuesday, May 13, 2008

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman Speaks to ABA

The IRS’ website has posted the transcript of remarks made by current IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman before the American Bar Association. Below are a few quotes I found particularly interesting.

“As I settle in to my new role, it becomes clearer to me each day what a privilege it is to be the Commissioner of the IRS. I am taking every opportunity to listen and learn — both internally with the IRS workforce, and externally with important constituencies: Congress, taxpayers, tax practitioners, foreign tax authorities, and other colleagues in the federal government.”

“We must continue on the path to modernizing the IRS. When I think of modernizing, I am not merely speaking about building new technology. We need to ensure that our systems, processes and people reflect the changing environment in which both individual taxpayers and businesses operate.”

“Another critical issue is our need to target the root causes of noncompliance, and look for opportunities to improve voluntary compliance rates.”

“In my view, a crucial part of the path forward is through increased transparency. When all parties are working from the same information, the opportunity for miscommunication and misunderstanding decreases dramatically. But transparency alone is not sufficient. With transparency comes the need for trust among the players in the tax system, and a responsibility of the tax authorities to use information appropriately.”

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