Hatch Introduces Bipartisan Bills to Protect Taxpayers, Prevent Identity Theft Refund Fraud

CCH Tax Day Report

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, introduced two bipartisan bills on July 12 intended to protect taxpayers. The Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Bill (Sen 3157) and the Taxpayer Protection Bill of 2016 (Sen 3156) are revenue neutral, estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation as having little to no revenue effect. Both measures were approved by voice vote during an April 20 committee markup (TAXDAY, 2016/04/21, C.1).

Sen 3157 would implement guidelines for the IRS in handling stolen identity refund fraud cases and would increase the criminal penalty for misappropriating taxpayer identity in connection with tax fraud. The bill also requires a biannual report from the IRS on the current status of taxpayer stolen identity refund fraud, including details as to detection, prevention and enforcement activities undertaken by the IRS.

Sen 3156 would extend the time limit on contesting an IRS levy from nine months to two years. Additionally, the bill would establish the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Matching Grant Program, intended to establish a community volunteer program to assist low income taxpayers through education and outreach. Among other provisions, the bill would also require the IRS to submit a report to Congress on its Future State efforts to expand online taxpayer services.

“Protecting taxpayers from bad actors looking to use their identities for fraudulent purposes and enhancing overall taxpayer protections has been a priority of the committee,” Hatch said in a July 12 statement. “By identifying problems plaguing taxpayers and advancing smart legislation to address those issues head on, the American people are seeing real, bipartisan results from this Congress,” he added.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

SFC Press Release: Hatch Introduces Bipartisan Bills to Protect Taxpayers, Reduce Identity Theft and Refund Fraud

Text of the Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act (Sen 3157)

Text of the Taxpayer Protection Act of 2016 (Sen 3156)

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