Roskam grills IRS official over seizure of noncriminal funds
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) has called on IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to apologize for the agency’s practice of seizing bank accounts of individuals and small businesses without proof of wrongdoing.
Roskam, chairman of the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, asked Koskinen during the Feb. 11 hearing to apologize to affected taxpayers.
"If they paid their taxes, they weren’t doing anything consciously illegal, and they got wrapped up in the system. That was a mistake, and I apologize for that," Koskinen said.
Roskam jumped on Koskinen during testimony after he said the purpose of the seizures was to target criminal enterprises. Roskam countered that the witnesses who testified are not criminals.
"They didn’t do anything remotely related to the type of enterprise that you were citing in your testimony," Roskam said.
Roskam also asked if Koskinen would apologize on behalf of the IRS.
"I’m sorry the mistakes happen if they happen, and I’m happy to apologize — to say if taxpayers have gotten themselves into a situation that is not their fault, they are not consciously structuring, they’re not avoiding taxes," Koskinen said.
"Commissioner, the IRS grabbed these taxpayers by their throat and squeezed them and squeezed them and squeezed them without mercy, and nearly ruined them and made their lives miserable," Roskam said.