Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Ways and Means Ranking Member Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., today questioned whether the Trump administration is wrongfully pressuring the IRS to produce 2018 withholding tables that would result in systematic underwithholding of federal taxes from taxpayer earnings. In a letter to Acting IRS Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy David Kautter, Wyden and Neal asked about interactions between Trump officials and the IRS regarding the development of the tables, which are expected to be released in the near future. If an undue amount of taxes are underwithheld by employers now, millions of hardworking Americans will owe taxes next April instead of receiving a tax refund.
“The Trump administration has tried at every turn to con the middle class into buying a tax scam that showers multinational corporations and the politically powerful with massive breaks,” Wyden said. “I’m proud to work with Ranking Member Neal to hold this administration accountable for any attempts to play shell games with middle-class wages and to keep millions of hardworking Americans from getting hit with unfair tax bills.”
“With this tax law, congressional Republicans and President Trump have tried to sell the American people a bad bill of goods that disproportionately benefits big corporations and the most well-off and well-connected,” said Neal. “Ranking Member Wyden and I are working to prevent the Trump Administration from manipulating hardworking Americans’ tax bills to exploit the middle class for political gain.”
Wyden and Neal sent a separate letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro requesting that GAO serve as an independent arbiter to analyze the 2018 withholding tables and determine whether they will result in systematic underwithholding.
Last month Wyden raised concerns that Mr. Kautter’s dual responsibilities create significant conflicts-of-interest, particularly with the auditing of Trump’s tax returns, and exposes the IRS to political interference.
The letter to Acting IRS Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Kautter can be found here.
The letter to GAO Comptroller General Dodaro can be found here.