Congress Sets Sights On The IRS, Introduces 9 Bills To Completely Restructure It

This week the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed a series of nine bipartisan bills which aim to reform the IRS to better put the “taxpayer first.”

A report from the Ways and Means Committee specifies the bills will “redesign the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), enhance customer service, improve the IRS’s vastly outdated IT infrastructure, and modernize the appeals process.”

“Tax administration watchdogs, small business lenders, and conservative leaders all agree that these bills will put the taxpayer first,” the report reads.

Republican Congressman Kevin Brady writes in the Houston Chronicle that “a new tax code calls for a new IRS.”

Brady describes the nine proposals as “the biggest transformation of the Internal Revenue Service in two decades.”

Here’s more:

The goal is to redesign the IRS into a modern, 21st century agency focused on ‘taxpayers first’ service — quickly and fairly resolving disputes, reining in IRS abuses and protecting private taxpayer information from fraud.

Championed by both Republicans and Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee that I lead, we are moving forward a package of nine bills that will dramatically redesign the IRS.

The reason why is simple. The American people deserve better.

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The IRS mission statement is “provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.”

Unfortunately, in many cases, the IRS has failed to provide the quality customer service they claim to be striving for, even when it comes to simply answering the phone when a taxpayer calls.

Settling a disagreement with the IRS is a complex procedure which can leave taxpayers frustrated and seemingly at the mercy of a faceless bureaucrat who cannot be held accountable. With no transparent process in place, taxpayers have little faith that they will receive a fair review of their case and they have little recourse if they do not.

Current IRS technology does little to facilitate customer service or offer assistance during an audit. In fact, their outdated systems can leave the IRS vulnerable to serious cyber threats from around the world. Every taxpayer’s personal and vital information continues to be a target of bad actors worldwide and we are working hard to ensure that the billions of dollars the IRS spends on IT will adequately protect it.

This is going to change according to Brady.

Other members of Congress have taken to social media to express support for the IRS reform.

Here’s what some people are saying about the legislative measures, per Ways and Means:

National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste:

“This bipartisan effort is opening a new and vital chapter in the history of improving tax administration, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) management, government efficiency, and taxpayer rights. The package of bills advancing through the committee contains numerous elements that our organizations have enthusiastically supported, whether working independently or in coalition.”

Taxpayers Protection Alliance:

“In particular, we applaud Congress for trying to improve cybersecurity, taxpayer identity protection, and modernizing information technology at the IRS. Other critical aspects of this bill include establishing a program for the issuance of identity protection personal identification numbers and providing for a single point of contact at the IRS for taxpayers victimized by tax-related identity theft.”

Marketplace Lending Association:

“This bill will boost our economy by ensuring a more seamless and secure verification system for key data sources. If this bill passes, small businesses that are seeking capital will have a much better chance to qualify for transparent, low cost financial options.”

Aspen Institute:

“Mandatory Form 990 e-filing, coupled with the release of the forms as open, machine readable data, will benefit the public and the nonprofit sector, while strengthening tax administration and law enforcement.”

Electronic Transactions Association:

“I…support, specifically, the language in the package that requires a study of how the government can utilize new payment platforms to increase the number of tax refunds paid by electronic funds transfer and a subsequent report to Congress on this and other related topics.”


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