Thursday, June 13, 2019
Congress Passes Grassley-Led Bipartisan IRS Reform Bill
WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released the following statement on the Senate passage of the Taxpayer First Act. The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan bill on Monday. It now goes to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.
“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.”
Grassley introduced the Taxpayer First Act in the Senate earlier this year with Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The bipartisan Senate legislation:
Establishes an independent office of appeals within the IRS;
Requires the IRS to submit to Congress plans to redesign the structure of the agency to improve efficiency, modernize technology systems, enhance cyber security and better meet taxpayer needs;
Includes a number of provisions to help protect taxpayers from tax ID theft and improve taxpayer interaction with the IRS should they become a victim of this crime;
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;
Puts in place new safeguards to protect taxpayers against recent IRS enforcement abuses of so-called “structuring laws”;
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 that are presently afforded to whistleblowers under other whistleblower laws;
Modifies the private debt collection program to ensure lower-income Americans are not targeted, while also strengthening the long-term viability of the program; and
Codifies the successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, allowing the IRS up to $30 million for matching grants to qualifying tax preparation sites.