House advances IRS reform bill

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The U.S. House of Representatives advanced last week the Taxpayer First Act, which proposes several changes to the Internal Revenue Service.

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The bill would establish an independent office of appeals within the IRS and require the IRS to redesign the structure of the agency to improve efficiency, modernize technology systems, enhance cybersecurity, and better meet taxpayer needs.

The bill was introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR).

“This bipartisan, bicameral bill represents years of hard work and consensus building. It’s a big first step toward strengthening taxpayer protections and turning the IRS into the customer service organization it ought to be,” Grassley said. “I look forward to President Trump signing it into law so the IRS can begin implementing long-overdue reforms that will put taxpayers first.”

The legislation also includes several provisions to protect taxpayers from tax ID theft and improve taxpayer interaction with the IRS should they become a victim of this crime. It expands to all taxpayers an IRS program that currently only allows victims of tax ID theft to obtain a personalized PIN that better secures their identity. Further, it improves the IRS whistleblower program by authorizing the IRS to communicate with whistleblowers during the processing of their claims, while also protecting taxpayer privacy and extending anti-retaliation provisions to IRS whistleblowers. It also modifies the private debt collection program to ensure lower-income Americans are not targeted.

The bill already advanced through the Senate and now goes to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.

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