Koskinen said Tuesday that, even under the simplest of tax codes, the federal government would need an agency to collect revenue and administer the tax code, something Cruz’s own aides have also admitted.

“Somebody has to collect the money, and then somebody also has to make sure when you fill in the small card, you’re putting in the right numbers,” Koskinen said.

But Koskinen also said he understands why politicians seek to tap into public anger at the IRS. Conservatives have become increasingly angry at the IRS because of the Tea Party controversy, but Koskinen insisted that an overly complicated tax code spurred much of the anger at his agency.

“I think that’s a lot of what’s behind, you know, ‘get rid of the IRS.’ It’s really ‘get rid of this complicated tax code.’ And to that extent, I think that’s a reasonable goal,” Koskinen said.