Leaders of the House and Senate’s main tax-writing committees have reintroduced bipartisan legislation to modernize the Internal Revenue Service and improve taxpayer services.
The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 includes more than 40 provisions, tackling how taxpayers file taxes, retrieve information, resolve issues, and make payments.
The House passed similar legislation last year on more than one occasion, but those bills weren’t taken up in the Senate.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-Ga.) teamed up with the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Oversight Subcommittee ranking member Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) in the House to reintroduce the legislation.
A vote in House and Ways Means is expected next week.
“The goal of the legislation is to modernize the IRS, putting taxpayers first,” the House leaders said in a statement.
“The package of IRS reforms we introduce today is the culmination of years of work by both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee,” they added. “It’s truly a bipartisan package that adopts provisions authored by committee members on both sides of the aisle from both the Senate and House.”
The legislation would, among other things, create an independent office of appeals within the IRS so taxpayers know they are being treated fairly when resolving a dispute with the agency. Taxpayers would get access to the same information as the IRS during the dispute resolution process.
The IRS is also required to submit to Congress a plan to redesign the structure of the agency to improve efficiency, enhance cybersecurity, and better meet taxpayer needs. When the IRS performs an audit, it would be required to notify taxpayers before it contacts friends, neighbors, and clients.
In the Senate, the bill is being sponsored by Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
“It’s truly a bipartisan package that adopts provisions authored by committee members on both sides of the aisle from both the Senate and House,” Grassley said.