House Approved Bipartisan IRS Reform Package

The House on April 18 approved the two largest bills of a bipartisan IRS reform package. The bills aim to restructure the IRS for the first time in 20 years. The 21st Century IRS Bill (HR 5445) was approved 414-to-0. In addition, the Taxpayer First Bill (HR 5444) passed by a 414-to-3 vote.

The bipartisan reform package-lead bill, HR 5444, proposes changes to the IRS’s appeals process and customer service programs. Also, it implements other organizational changes. HR 5445 focuses primarily on cybersecurity safeguards.

Bipartisan IRS Reform Package

Previously, the House approved seven bills by unanimous consent on April 17. These bills are also set to become part of the bipartisan IRS reform package The seven House-approved 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.

Further, the Ways and Means Committee approved the entire package of bills last week.

“With this package, we are taking a monumental step in redesigning the IRS for first time in 20 years, refocusing the agency to live up to its mission of quality service, and reining in its enforcement powers to prevent future abuse,” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., said in an April 18 statement.

IRS Glitch

House passage of the IRS reform bills comes on the heels of an IRS system glitch on April 17, the last day of the 2018 filing season. In addition, the IRS announced the same evening that its systems were fixed and taxpayers would have until midnight on April 18 to file their returns.

Senate

How the IRS reform bills will fare in the Senate remains to be seen. Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah has commended the House’s efforts toward restructuring the IRS. However, no word has been released as for when the Senate will consider the measure.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff
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