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“I have been of a mind that it is probably abused — used to transform compensation into capital gains,” Mr. Morici said in an email.

Mr. Coburn has tried to compel the IRS to take a closer look at potential tax cheats, including federal employees who are delinquent on their taxes, and in some benefits such as the earned income tax credit.

A few weeks ago, before the IRS scandal broke, Mr. Coburn tried to amend an Internet sales tax bill with a provision that would have pushed the IRS to take a closer look at the athlete foundations.

Mr. Coburn’s amendment didn’t come up for a vote, but he signaled Wednesday that his tax-related measures will resurface in the Senate.

“It’ll all come forward sooner or later,” he said.