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New IRS Commissioner Visits to Boost Morale

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Published on Jan 9, 2014

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- This was Koskinen's first place to visit and it makes sense. The Cincinnati office is in the middle of Senate, House and FBI investigations into claims they targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax exempt status. It's a tough place to work under the best conditions. 2013 in Cincinnati was not the best conditions. I'm here first because I think Cincinnati employees have been through a difficult 8-12 months.That 8-12 months has seen Koskinen's predecessor fired, legislative and criminal investigations launched and the rhetoric cranked up against a government agency Americans view, at best, as a necessary evil. Jack Painter says his Ohio Liberty Coalition was singled out when it applied for tax exempt status three years ago. The IRS shouldn't be involved in harassing the President's political opponents. As far as I'm concerned that's un-American and should never happen again. That was part of Koskinen's message Thursday. Restoring integrity and confidence. It is job one. I think it's critical for the American public, for the taxpaying public to feel that they're going to be treated fairly and equally when they file their taxes and deal with the IRS no matter who they are, where they live, what organization they belong to, whatever their political affiliation is and whatever church they go to. Koskinen promised Thursday consistent, fair and a-political evaluation of all tax-exempt applications. Painter says that even if that is so, recently adopted IRS regulations still tilt the playing field against tea party groups. Koskinen says, on his watch, the IRS won't play politics. My goal is for the IRS to be viewed at the end of my tenure and my term as totally apolitical. An organization in which people can have confidence and trust.The commissioner is in Cincinnati for just one day. From here he goes to Philadelphia. It's something of a fence-mending trip to talk to employees and try to restore confidence in the IRS. That's a tough job because the IRS is one government agency people just love to hate. Koskinen met with workers in Cincinnati Thursday morning and went to Covington in the afternoon. There are more than 4,000 IRS employees in the tri-state.

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