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IRS shakeup needed after scandal, chairmen of Congress' tax-writing panels say

The chairmen of congressional tax writing committees say the Internal Revenue Service may need to be restructured after the agency was found improperly targeting conservative groups seeking non-profit status.

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Rep. Dave Camp (l.) and Sen. Max Baucus speak at a Monitor-hosted breakfast for reporters in Washington, D.C., Friday.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor

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The Internal Revenue Service may need to be restructured after the agency was found improperly targeting conservative groups seeking non-profit status, the chairmen of the two congressional tax-writing committees say.

“There does need to be significant restructuring in the IRS,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D) of Montana. “Within the agency itself, there has got to be some major accountability changes and make sure people are held accountable and not just left to go in their own direction,” Senator Baucus said Friday at a Monitor-hosted breakfast for reporters.

Speaking at the same gathering, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp (R) of Michigan, said “I think there may be” a need for a total revamping of the IRS. “This looks like, at best, complete management failure, and at worst, intentional. We don’t know that yet. ... We really need to know all the facts.”

The chairmen appeared at the event to discuss their joint, bipartisan efforts at reforming the tax code.

Both Baucus and Representative Camp stressed that their joint investigation of the IRS was continuing. The tax committees have a special level of access to IRS data, and Camp said “we are beginning to use it.” He described the investigation as “more of a white collar approach where you really have to get the documents and prove things. And that takes a long time, it is painstaking.”

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