Press Releases

In his first budget hearing for fiscal year 2017, U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) issued a scathing review of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) budget proposal, agency management and failing customer service. Rogers noted that two-thirds of taxpayers who call the IRS can't get through.

"A recently released Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the 2015 tax filing season highlights just how bad customer service has become at the IRS," said Rogers, Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. "The report found that roughly only one-third of taxpayers who called into the IRS for assistance had their calls answered. The report also showed that call wait times have more than tripled in just the last five years."

Rogers tasked IRS Commissioner John Koskinen with reporting back to the Committee on April 15, 2016 to provide information on customer service improvements, including the percentage of people who call and get through, as well as the length of the wait time.

Commissioner Koskinen reported 25 million tax returns have been filed thus far, with all but one million electronically. 

"Since Fiscal Year 2011, this Committee has pared back IRS' astronomically high budget requests on a bipartisan basis," said Rogers. "This is largely a result of this Committee's concerted effort to reduce discretionary spending government-wide; justifiable concern over the implementation of ObamaCare and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act; and multiple objectionable management decisions at the agency - for example, targeting certain groups based on their ideological beliefs and destroying documents."

The IRS budget request for fiscal year 2017 is $12.3 billion, a 9.3% increase above the 2016 level. 

Click here to watch the IRS budget hearing for fiscal year 2017.

(NOTE: Rogers' opening statement begins at 15:55 and his questions begin at 37:11)

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit or follow Rogers on TwitterInstagram or on Facebook.