tv IRS Commissioner Testifies on Presidents 2023 Budget CSPAN April 12, 2022 11:53am-1:01pm EDT
committee service. -- community service. >> in an average year, consumers pay 10 billion to $12 billion in overdraft fees and 9% of consumers make up 80% of those overdraft fees. you can watch the financial services subcommittee hearing tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. online at c-span.org or on
around the country, millions are feeling the pressure of rising prices. this year in particular, people are counting on getting their tax refunds to help cover their bills. i will correct to the matter for those whose refunds may be delayed due to backlogs. if you're frustrated by poor service from the irs, you have years of republican cuts that have contributed idly to the ability of the agency to meet your expectations. for all the talk about running government more like a business, a lot of republicans want to turn the government into the kind of dysfunctional business that never gets a repeat customer.
republicans had an opportunity when they passed the tax law and 2017. the could have included efforts to reduce backlogs and improve service. that was not done. more complexity in the tax code was added and it made the tax system more difficult to manage. this came after a long. wheezing -- time of squeezing the irs. the irs republicans were staring into train wreck seeing the effects. a number of numbers of the irs, these are the people who audit tax returns, a third of what it was a decade ago. officers who collect unpaid taxes are done by nearly a half. same number of employees in 1970
when the country's population and the economy were a fraction of the size they are today. thn of the size they are today. late march irs facing a backlog of 12 million tax returns. they struggled to keep up with the phone calls. they've been able to answer only 11%. the irs recently is on a hiring commission thanks to the funding and hiring authority just like democrats. progress on the backlog targeting resources, customer service and phone lines but in the meantime law-abiding taxpayers dealing with the aftereffects of the republican cuts are left with the impression the government cannot manage a two-car parade. with that said, not everybody pain by what's happening by the irs. customer service has fallen off, the tax enforcement is in even
worse shape which means these are high in good times. the irs totally outmanned against the tax chief who use these complexity driven loopholes to cheat their way out of paying their fair share. you are issues today any time in world war ii to challenge is much bigger. some of the murkiness loopholes written parts of america totally busted tax code partnership income. ticket of super complicated rules that are supposed to apply to a third of all business income america. a big growing percentage fiscal year irs building temp of 1% and partnership tax returns. the tiniest sliver.
the burden of tax enforcement is shifted on the working people who spend every day on this. democrats presented reinvestment taxpayer service enforcement cut down on this and make tax filing season less of a headache for everybody else. part of the ongoing process in sen. wyden: the burden of tax enforcement get shifted onto working people who spend every day being tight rope. the democrats have begun to reinvest in -- to cut back on the cheats.
part of that ongoing process thought to be making it easier for americans to file their tax returns directly online for free. give them that option. some of those companies use deeply deceptive practices to steer them away from free options that they have a legal right to use. i have been a long-term supporter of the right to file directly with the internal revenue service online. it would be your right. use a simple return in which it is completed and all you have got to do is check the numbers. we no longer have a free pass --. commissioner, i want to thank you and your frontline staff this morning. they have put in some long hours
this filing season to get these refunds out in a timely way. people are not thinking about politics, they are thinking about helping people. people need those refunds right now when we are dealing with this inflation challenge. the job for those frontline folks has been made a lot harder than it had to be. it could have been easier with additional resources and assistance. we are going to be pursuing that. let me recognize my friend. as we said, we are going to be running back and forth. >> thank you senator wyden. i agree with your observations. we will make this word.
commissioner reading -- retting, thank you for being here and testifying today. it is hard to change course of an institution like this. in just a few years most of us have to work at it when we get the opportunity. there is a need to change course. i do not believe the administration outside of this partisan approach is the issue. with tens of millions of 20 20 one tax returns still to be filed, the most recent data we have this tax season is concerning. highlighting long-standing issues the irs has not yet adequately addressed. more than 60% of millions of
taxpayer correspondence and amended returns have set with storage for more than three months. an increase of more than 30% over the last year. average hold times for the lucky taxpayers who reach --are on the phone for over 20 minutes. millions of prior year tax returns await processing. the rs managing of paper filing is a persistent problem at the next -- national taxpayer audit loaded goes back years. millions of current year tax returns will likewise gather dust. steps to prevent or minimize this disruption were not taken by the irs and in some cases
still have not been taken. many have not been aware that in order for the irs to process a paper filed return, each entry on the return is manual -- manually input it these employees would be better served to serve taxpayers by answering phones this is not simply a problem of taxpayers trying to delusion the irs's paper returns. in many cases, irs forms cannot be electronically filed. including where a taxpayer can e-file an attempt to do so but is rejected by the irs confusing digital process. this is not a funding issue. solutions to these issues have been for years. the irs can transition away from any form to be paper file.
with respect to reject e-file, which i understand caused by taxpayers being unable to locate one of two possible people highly pins --e-filing pins. the commissioner is working on this. the barcodes much like the supermarket barcodes could eliminate the need for paper returns at all. to the question that has been raised by a number of my colleagues on the other site trying to back --blame republicans and the irs, some say the budget is to blame. this distracts from real issues
at the irs. many begin their analysis of irs budgets with fiscal year 10. it was a high watermark for the budget and an outlier. the irs average inflates -- inflation adjustment budget is much lower. it is aligned with much -- budget argument are often an attempt for massive irs funding --plaguing the irs. this year's presidential budget request a funding boost.
-- would provide a truly massive --the reserve fund could accommodate the proposal to monitor americans bank account flows with as little as $600. i strongly oppose forcing community banks and credit unions to report incident and private customer data to the irs in order to raise more money by sifting through customers account. we will continue to push back on adding this reporting scheme to the r election. --scheme to the irs. i had a number of questions of ways to address the
long-standing irs problem. ways to ensure the next filing season will be better than the last several. given your commitment, i not only appreciate, but except. i look forward to continuing to work with you. thank you mr. chairman. >> i thank my colleague. he and i often after we hear each other statements go back and forth a little bit. i think senator has a very good point in respect to these barcodes. i also feel the agency is being asked to do more with less. at some point, you try to do more with less, get less with less. that is why all of these people are waiting for refunds.
you can tell both of us feel strongly about this. our witness today is charles retting, representing thousands of irs --she served as chair of the taxation section of the state bar. served on the advisory board of equalization in his home state of california. >> for the fiscal year 2021, four point $1 trillion representing parts of the 96 gross receipt of america.
a successful fully functioning irs is important to the continued success of our country. we have been at the forefront of successfully providing rapid economic tax relief issuing one trillion dollars during the pandemic. the president's fiscal 2020 three budget is a proposal for $14.1 billion in an increase of $2 billion. the budget would allow to take important steps forward, and -- including modernizing our assistance and ensuring fairness in the tax law. the president's budget proposal also --we stay current with our paper inventories.
paid tax return preparers. this has been an issue since 2013. it is critical for us to receive some form of oversight with respect to perform --. with the sign of --we are adjusting our arc spending plan. we will adjust with respect to the funds that we have, movement of those funds, implementation, projects that were provided. in removing other funds to cover short and long-term goals. as of april 5, we have a field dated -- we have obligated funds
to maximize taxpayer service. taxpayer service remains the most significant irs priority. funds provided by congress, and the at --to reduce our current projected inventories and to get healthy. we are off to a healthy start. through april 1, we have processed more than 80 nine million returns, issued more than 63 million refunds, totaling more than 204 million dollars. there are two distinct filing system. taxpayers who choose to electronically file and request a direct deposit are receiving
their refund within 21 days. many individuals have received that refund within 24 days of the submission of their electronic file. with this deck --with respect for taxpayers who manually file --we are processing 7 million files from previous years. the employees at the irs, including myself, are doing the best we can. may not -- we may not have always gotten it right but we are trying our best. i took --we are trending in a
very good direction that will allow us to commit we will be healthy by the end of calendar year 2022. we are working to make sure these inventories are addressed as quickly as possible and have implemented new, innovative strategies never before used within the internal revenue service. every commissioner over the past decade has stated incident funding when you --any other government or private sector. modernized technology would significantly improve our ability to respond to a crisis, pandemic related or otherwise. it is unacceptable for us to remain largely a paper-based organization, operating in a digital world environment. chairman -- and members of this committee, thank you for
allowing me to make my statement. >> last year i asked you about the current tax gap. i was surprised to learn it is higher than the official landscape. the congress needs updated information about science, the tax cap, who is cheating, what the agency is doing about the problem. my first question to you picks up on last year's question. give us more information of who is cheating. >> in two thousand 18, we release the tax cap from 2000 11 to 2000 17.
then they began implementing the ability to be more current and more engaging with respect to lowering omissions. this summer, we will issue a text gap from -- it is also dated in 2022. we will also be submitting projections for 2019. the text gap after -- estimates we submit for projections will not include information with respect to virtual currencies and certain forms of income. we are working to get that information. we are not where we need to be. >> is there anything we can do working with you that can get us more updated projections? that is essential for a lot of the debates we are having. wealthy tax cheats, bribery of
anyone else. what can we do to get better data through these updates. >> from the virtual perspective in the virtual world, it is not where it needs to be and there is a huge question as to what the aspects. 14 trillion dollars in transactions last year in that space. the u.s. represents somewhere between 30 and 40% if you compare our gdp to the world. >> you want additional resources to go after scams and ripoffs? we had the debate about cryptocurrency last year. i am all in in the fight against
these wealthy cheats and people money laundering. i just don't want to go after the innovators, coders and the like. we could talk off-line about this. i want to make sure we get better and more current updates. that is what this committee needs to deal with major policy questions. i am going to eliminate backlogs. we talked a bit about this. i think i would like to get your sense here. in your view, what is a reasonable level of phone service and when will the agency reach that level? >> the president's budget proposal for fiscal 23 request three hundred 80 $9 million with a target level of service of 85% . answering eight and have out of 10 calls. every employee would like to answer 10 out of 10 calls and the surge of incoming phone calls has had a huge impact.
at one point we were receiving phone calls at the rate of 1500 per second. one thousand 500 calls per second. that built up in inventory in the backlog and we never recovered from that. >> what is a reasonable expectation for phone service? >> we need to crush our paper and return ways --paper inventories, backlogs. when we can get through the paper, we can get those folks full-time back onto the phones and handling it. we are committed to getting into that position by the end of calendar year 2022. >> you and i talked about technology policy and this is been a focus of my work and senate work. nobody was using a computer. i understand backlog is due to a great extent. the backlog employees have to transcribe paper returns manually.
when can we expect the irs to start using scanning technology to transcribe individual tax returns? how does the president's budget affect that? >> the president's budget supports our ability to scan and electronically convert paper into something we can do with machine and process automatically. with respect to the barcode, congressional budget justification between 2013 and two thousand 17 requested funding for 2d barcode and that funding was never provided or fit into focusing we are currently running around 96% e file tax returns in our season. >> thank you commissioner. let's go to senator graft. >> all over the country,
taxpayers are wits in this time of the year. there has been some improvement from the cases that my staff in iowa forwarded to the irs. 20 20 one, it took 570 days to get an answer, on average. it is down now to 200 45 days. this brings up the question about irs employees. working remotely, we had the national taxpayer advocate dollars saved. i am thinking along the lines to require all hands on deck. i appreciate that the irs recently unveiled a return to work policy. but for iowans who have been back to work for a long time,
the irs will not be fully backed into the end of june. will you explain why? >> that is not accurate. 90 nine percent of our employees have been working. before the pandemic, 60 percent of employees were teleworking. we have a contract with ntu. negotiate that contract every six years. we follow the terms of that contract. telework positions will be teleworking. >> you may be right in regard to the 99%, but your plan says it isn't going to be fully deployed until the end of june. >> can i address that? >> yeah, go ahead. >> 50 percent of employees are at a full-time telework
position. the rest of employees have a blended -- blended capacity or on-site. every employee has respect to the major inventories. they came back june 2020 socially distance in our principal campuses, kansas city and austin texas. because of covert spikes and following cdc, we needed to shut down briefly. but our front-line processing employees have been on-site, in place since june of 2020. >> the irs has spent -- dollars since 19 90 nine, yet we are still using systems that go back to the 1960's. in 99, the irs started working on what they call a system
intended -- after spending four hundred million dollars, irs abandoned this project. in two thousand nine, in its place, irs with plans to replace legacy ims systems. 20, according to gao, after spending one and half trillion dollars, there are now expected to replace functions. they will not get that completed until 2014. given this history, how can congress have any confidence additional funds will result in the irs successfully replacing this 19 60 aerosystems. >> i came on board in two thousand 18. in two thousand 19, we launched our -- program. a six-year plan, two .3 to two point $7 million.
major financial institutions were spending 10 to 14 billion per year to modernize their systems. as of today, we have only received 57% of funding for that plan. that plan was reviewed by outside consultants. our initial plan was revised and adjusted and they continued to be involved. we have --during my term, who would ever follow as commissioner this year would do the same. how people can have confidence in the internal revenue service, we were the agency called upon to issue three rounds of at least six payments of the advance child tax credit. we issued one point five trillion dollars during the pandemic. more than 200 million advanced tax credit payments.
i think people should have confidence in us. we were the agency that stood up for this, -- this country for americans who were unemployed and had health issues. our employees are proud and privileged to have that opportunity. if you look at what we have done recently, i think people would be impressed. i am not saying the irs should be fully funded and congress should go away. i am saying it should become -- funded congress approved and bring us -- >> the point that my colleague has brought up the agency cannot be trusted because in his view they have wasted trillions of dollars, funding is not in line
with what accountability the office has set. it is between 2019 and 20 20, a lack of funding delayed i.t. upgrades five times. it is not by people in politics and all the rest, this is important to government accountability offices. next will be senator harper which i believe is online. >> yes, can you hear me? >> we have a couple questions. welcome. i'm glad you're here before us.
my first question deals with multi-yield funding. sounding the alarm in later investments. generations technology causing frustration and relies wealthy americans to avoid paying taxes. what the agency really needs is a --my question is how is long-term funding up? how would this funding be improved by your services? >> the agency, like every other
federal agency has been in more than 100 solutions since two thousand one. we received funding a year ago on march 11. we received funding this year on march 15. it is impossible to build a robust, meaningful technology infrastructure for any agency, for any private sector organization when we don't have consistent, multiyear funding. it is not the ability to do that. the start, stop that this agency receives from i funding for strict. i am focused on the technology side of the house. we continue to push projects off based on limitations and figure out how they can do something. for this year and for last year, we got this funding week six was left in the year. >> workforce challenges will be
my last question. in tracking and retaining a robust workforce, the bill provides a process for qualified applicants. how will the irs open up this new authority? what effect will this have on the long-term? >> congress included a hiring authority in the budget for us. that passed on march 11, march 15. at the next day we started holding job fairs in our three key processing centers. a lot of press. individual showing up to these job fairs with resumes.
90 percent received job offers on the spot from us. >> that is great. >> we can bring them onboard between 30 and 45 days and we are doing so. the current count as of this week, over 20 two hundred people for these job fairs, a direct result for hiring authority. over 2200 people with the office continue to hold these job fairs. we hold job fairs virtually and those require little to no follow-up. this is critical to help with our contracts and everything we are doing to get onto the inventories. >> my casework team in delaware continues to hear from constituents who haven't received their full -- don't
know this credit exists. it is especially challenging for our elderly or vulnerable taxpayers. what steps does the irs plan to take about the current filing system? >> we provide that information in multiple languages. this saturday and the second saturday at the end of may, we are holding open houses and our taxpayer assistance center. no appointment needed. walk in on any issue. come into our centers and resolve it. our treasury expect general
issued a report two weeks ago saying we got it 99% accurate and in may of 20 20, they issued a report we were 90 8% accurate. that speaks to the quality of the people. >> that is encouraging. thank you very much. >> let me start by thanking the employees of the irs that have been working around the clock to assist taxpayers during an --exceptionally --surge teams and implement mandatory overtime at the irs in order to work down the backlog. right now, the irs has two main issues when working down the backlog. until we address these issues, we are going to have more of the same next year.
the first issue is staffing. we need more irs employees. the second is that the irs still relies on paper. this paper needs to be opened, sorted and manually entered into the irs systems. it seems to me one of the way to decrease the backlog is to hire more customer service representatives. both the national taxpayer and the national taxpayer treasury have identified these employees are making less than 30 $7,000 a year. this is competing with the food industry with high stress and unreasonable expectations and this is why they are not beating a path to the irs doors. how many submissions processing is the irs seeking to higher this year and how many have you hired? >> whistling this year and next
year, we expect to onboard 2000. for hiring, we have more csr's on more than we have ever had in the industry. a year ago, we extended them to permanent and we have an additional thousand. >> you are looking to hire 10,000? at this point, what do you have on board? >> there are different categories. >> this 10 thousand you are seeking to hire, is that still to be filled? >> we have made offers for 2000 of that 5000. we expect to fill that 5000 shortly. >> let me talk about the second issue which is paper. the irs was stuck in the 1960's before the information age. last year irs employees were strict to open the envelope over 20 one million papers that were filed.
they were expected to manually process the returns. this one may be a simpler one. being they had to answer all the numbers that a taxpayer rights on this form, this all takes time. it is a reason why the irs is a year behind working down the backlog. how do we fix this? last week, the national taxpayer added a directive -- this will speed up processing of returns. it would allow the irs to reassign employees. does the current budget request include funding to accommodate implementing barcodes and scanning technology filing system? >> we will issue our response to that director. we will be available to discuss
it with you in person. with respect to 2d barcoding, congressional budget testing for each year, two thousand 13 to 2017 was specifically requested but not receive funding for 2d barcoding. third, the same individuals who do the phones to the paper. we have had pilots and run pilots. there are some technological problems associated with us using the 2d barcode. >> how the irs implement a
recognition technology. despite requesting a response in february, we received a response from the irs yesterday. even though the irs has allowed taxpayers to opt out of a video and conduct a live check --a live chat, i am concerned taxpayers don't have a meaningful choice here. i am concerned about the amount of information --stores and collects for every client use for the website. it includes things like age,
gender, military status, citizenship status where they access the idb website. tax returns and tax identity information including a taxpayers name, id number are protected from disclosure or potential disclosure. the information disclosed in -- is not protected. taxpayer compliance so i look forward to working with clients -- colleagues on both sides of the aisle. >> senator, those of us who consider ourselves privacy hocks very much agree with you. i look forward to working with you.
>> did you have a chance to vote on the second measure? >> yes. >> great. i am going to get over there as fast as i can. i am going to return. i think i can get there by the end of your five minutes. >> thank you for being here. my questions all relate to solving bad problems of secrecy which are germane as we see international oligarchs stashing their loot and secrecy, providing jurisdictions.
the passions --the passage of the beneficial ownership law which --had an important role in along with senator grassley and others. are you comfortable with the input you have been able to have in the treasury regulation process? do you feel you will be able to use it effectively to find --. >> the regulation rules are a treasury primary issue supported by another bureau. we are hugely supportive and we have been engaged. >> good. then you are comfortable with
the way treasury is going about it? you are getting your needs met? >> yes. >> good. second, with respect to the -- setting aside the staffing concerns for the work load, do you support the passage of coal -- and why? >> absolutely. last week we submitted to --it has not occurred yet. we are receiving information from them u.s. institutions are not providing that information. i am a believer in transparency. where transparency is appropriate. >> with respect to fiber's, i
have three questions. where a 501(c) is allowed to of skewered donors behind political influence efforts, what prevents putin's influence efforts from deploying itself through that vector into our politics? >> i can't speak to any individual country or otherwise. >> generically. the irs different --votes in his room. we are supportive forgetting information we can and processing that information. >> is the answer a simple one, that if there is secrecy behind spending, foreign actors can take control of that? >> that is what i was going to
say. domestic people could do the same. >> the irs has a 50% rule about how much a five oh c1 organization can spend in politics. i want to hypothesize a and one of them gets a check for a million books. -- one million bucks. if the other 50% gives it to the second affiliate in the same office with the same staff, it can spend six there percent is
your dime. you get 12% in the first bite, --six point in the fourth bite. when you add it all up, 90% of the money is going into politics in plain violation of being sent to the rule --. if it has never happen, i would like to know that. >> it goes through a whole bunch of steps. those steps are not independent. >> the last piece appears when there is an potentially false
statement and a filing made under the 501(c) rules, plain discrepancy between a filing under old of the federal election committee and a filing under old at the irs, the irs has never referred that question to the doj to inquire if a false statement has been made. the doj has a lot of reasons insisted being a referral. a hundred walls have dropped the swing the verse were basement and downstairs. it is a difficult arena to get those cases. >> it is really easy, actually. make the referral to the doj. or they put the two statements next to each other, they send it to the jeep supreme court, if they have questions, they proceed. >> they are very selective on
what we refer. >> we heard that from doj themselves. >> bring them in and let's have a hearing. >> great. it is preposterous the way this is. >> we need to be present in all these issues. >> it is obvious the two numbers don't add up and they are both under old. the provocation that somebody is lying is under our nose in public filings. it demeans government when government doesn't act on public information like that. it is presumptively false. >> thank you, commissioner. i am back and senator wyden is now over voting. >> on beneficial ownership, our first topic, i want to mention the commissioner was appreciative of what we have
done and how that will help him in his work. >> i appreciate your referencing that. there is bipartisan work to be going on around here. one of the other issues, it a bipartisan effort senator writing --we passed that would a vote of one hundred to zero. we expect the house to pick this up, even today, possibly. putting russia in the same pariah traits that is as ironic and north korea. there will be some other bipartisan good things happening as well. the bill we are running on now, when senator wyden gets back, i will leave to put this in the statute the band of u.s.
purchases on russian oil until --examining of days to bring the irs technology into the 20 first century so taxpayers can get better service. in april 2019, the irs issued its most recent six year i.t. modernization plan. it had a top budget of two point three to two point $7 billion. the background from fiscal year in 19 96 to 2021, irs budgets have included 5.6 million. is the irs certain that the monitor i say should plan would bring the irs i see up-to-date without the need for further funding? >> that plan in 2019 was
reviewed by mckinsey, outside consultants. we modified the plan. what was released was the modified plan. the united states had announced they were putting in 12 and 14 billion per year. to modernize their systems and they asked with fewer people obviously than we do. 50% of the funding, we have taken places somewhere. i would be remiss if i did not say that would get us where every american deserves. it won't, we need more. >> if you could give us an updated plan for what you expected today, given what you have already seen developed, it will be technology.
it is better than any other lane out there. by year three, we should be looking at something different than year six. >> i love that. i can totally accept what you are saying there. i would like to see a plan. not necessarily against congress, but let us know what the technology -- with contractors. we have about seven thousand internal i.t. folks and outside factors. the hope is we are cutting --
people come up with ideas every day. >> as you and i have talked, i am focused on the irs announcement of migration of all existing irs accounts to require further authentication. including with biometric data. i have two questions. i have received mixed messages about the irs plan of the migration of existing account holders that have been verified using the enhanced authentication. for the record, at one point will an existing irs account holder be required to move to the newly authenticated account in order to retain access? >> we have no plan to require anybody to move to the current version. i think we discussed yesterday,
we have two options available. we are looking at other options on a go forward basis, including login.gov. we need about 1500 transactions per second. it can handle less than 30. we can get them up and get their authentication levels up. it is critical we are at authentication level two so we can start providing meaningful online self-service services for people. if we cannot get to that authentication level, it will force us to provide your services because security is number one in space. >> one quick follow-up on that. i am already over time. i would alert senator portman, you are next. senator toomey is the next after that.
as i understand, login.gov is powered by lexis-nexis. what is the irs doing in that context to make sure any new options will not raise privacy issues? >> i couldn't address that today because we are not with login.gov. >> i alert you to that kind of issue i am going to have. >> our options are limited to have self-service portals. for those who want to use them for a lot of different transactions. >> we should expand the number of transactions people can use in that way. senator portman, are you there?
>> make sure russia is under a lower terry's. that was the vote in favor of the people of ukraine. the sanctions in russia are not easy but -- thank you for being with us today. i think we have gone from 76 and half million returns to a backlog of 11 .5 million. that is progress since our last meeting. we have got a huge backlog. you and i talked about it and others recently, small businesses in ohio, as an example, are still waiting from -- waiting for their refunds
from a year and a half ago. we have individuals telling me, i cannot get a loan because i have to file the tax return to get a loan. this is having a real impact out there. for the last decade and they have or the latest decades, taxpayers act, included in the --we have another bill we are looking at to provide additional funding for customer service from the irs. american taxpayers deserve -- a net -- american taxpayers deserve. taxpayer clinics are over utilized now.
we also revamped the oversight for legislation. to increase the protection of taxpayer data. talk to us about what that would mean. do you think this would help in terms of addressing the backlog and preventing future ones. a specific russian for us, the current proposal update the individual master file? >> the current budget proposal does not include -- as you are aware of the long-term agency. we need to get there. we are included.
the internal revenue service, funding and bringing oversight. the vote we have today shows we are the greatest country in the world. we should provide a level of service to our people. plan between employees. i cannot say enough about the people but we need to provide the right tools and training and technology. technology will change the skill sets. we are going to as in the direct hiring authority arena for direct hiring authority beyond what we just received. in some of our specialist positions, more sophisticated examiners, we have a difficult time bringing them on board --
in order to do it we need to do. >> we need the direct or -- direct earning for what the priorities are. these various forms we talked about, these paper returns and individual master file, will this help in terms of the backlog? >> it will help in terms of the backlog and numerous functions. it is critical we receive this. >> senator toomey. -- sen. toomey: i appreciate the
conversation we had earlier this week. i do want to follow up on the issue that has been raised, which is the backlog. this is a really big problem and i am concerned about whether it is going to be solved and how long it is going to take. i am concerned about how fine a plan it is to get this wrapped up and catch up and get ready to the normal, steady state. one of the real frustrating problems for so many constituents is the combination of the backlog the fact the return has not been processed and