House Approves First Round of IRS Reform Bills

The House approved seven IRS reform bills on April 17 by voice vote. The bills are part of a larger bipartisan IRS reform package that was approved by the Ways and Means Committee last week.

IRS Reform Bills

These seven bills include proposals to:

  • establish a single point of contact for tax-related identity theft victims,
  • expand the use of Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs), and
  • require electronic filing for certain tax-exempt organizations, among other things.

The two larger IRS reform bills in the package, the 21st Century IRS Bill (HR 5445) and the Taxpayer First Bill (HR 5444), are scheduled for a House floor vote on April 18.

HR 5444 aims to improve IRS customer service and IT operations. HR 5445 also aims to improve IRS IT operations and customer service. In addition, it proposes additional cybersecurity and identity theft safeguards.  According to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) (JCX-10-18), the IRS reform package has no effect on revenue.

“Congress this week, the House this week, will undertake the first major reform of the IRS in more than two decades,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., said in an April 17 leadership press briefing. “A new tax code really demands a new tax collector – and, Republicans and Democrats together, are launching reforms that create a ‘Taxpayer First’ IRS,” he added.

Technical Difficulties

At press time on April 17, the IRS was still experiencing technical difficulties with its direct payment and e-filing systems. Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter told House lawmakers in a House Oversight Subcommittees hearing the same day that taxpayers will not be penalized for the technical glitch.

“Currently, certain IRS systems are experiencing technical difficulties. Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would,” the IRS said in a statement sent to Wolters Kluwer on April 17. Later on April 17, the IRS provided taxpayers an additional day to file returns and pay taxes that were due on April 17.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff
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