Congress has approved a bipartisan IRS reform bill, which now awaits President Trump’s signature.
Bipartisan IRS Reform
The bipartisan Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (HR 3151) would reform the IRS for the first time in over 20 years. Notably, included among the bill’s 45 provisions aiming to redesign the IRS are some of the following general areas of reform:
- a new internal agency structure,
- an enhanced and codified independent office of appeals within the IRS,
- modernized information technology (IT) systems,
- a new customer service strategy, and
- enhanced cybersecurity.
Taxpayer First Act Clears Senate Hurdle
Procedurally, HR 3151 cleared the Senate on June 13 and was approved in the House on June 10. Both chambers approved the bipartisan bill by voice vote.
The “reworked” IRS reform bill, originally introduced in the last Congress, was revised earlier this month after the House passed a prior version in April that included a provision codifying the IRS’s Free File program. However, the first House-approved Taxpayer First Bill (HR 1957) was deemed dead on arrival in the Senate in May because of recent controversy surrounding the IRS’s Free File program.
Thus, the provision codifying the IRS Free File Alliance program was stripped from the original bill. The measure was reintroduced as HR 3151, then quickly cleared each chamber.
Trump Expected to Sign HR 3151 Into Law
Meanwhile, HR 3151 has been sent to President Trump’s desk. He is expected to sign the bill into law.
“After years of good-faith, bipartisan work, our IRS reforms are finally going to become law,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Tex., said in a joint statement. “In this historic legislation, we focused on putting taxpayers first,” the lawmakers wrote.
By Jessica Jeane, J.D.