By Bob Cusack
IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman does not file his own taxes in part because he believes the tax code is complex.
During an interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program that aired on Sunday, Shulman said he uses a tax preparer for his own returns.
“I’ve used one for years. I find it convenient. I find the tax code complex so I use a preparer,” Shulman said.
Pressed on how he would make the tax code simpler, Shulman responded, “I don’t write the tax laws. Congress writes the tax laws so that’s a whole different discussion.”
The IRS this month announced it will be scrutinizing the tax preparer industry. Shulman said the IRS is looking to set “a minimal level of competence in the preparer community.”
Later in the C-SPAN interview, Shulman downplayed his use of a tax preparer, saying he has used one for 10 years. He noted that he and President Barack Obama are proponents of simplifying the tax code.
Shulman said about 60 percent of Americans use tax preparers and another 20 percent use software to file their returns.
He added, “So you’re over 80 percent of people who aren’t just sitting down and filling out the forms themselves.”