Congress is looking at reforming the IRS, just days after a computer crash temporarily suspended processing of tax returns on the date of the filing deadline. The House voted to pass bipartisan legislation that would help modernize the IRS’s information systems.
The bill will not only help improve the information systems, but it will help improve cybersecurity at the IRS and taxpayer identity protection. Another bill would improve taxpayer service at the IRS, it passed as well. These bills were part of a package of bipartisan bills the House voted on and passed. The passing of these bills includes changes such as the following:
- Setting up an independent appeals office at the IRS
- The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will become permanent
- Requires notice from the Treasury Department in case any Taxpayer Assistance Center is going to be closed
- Amends the tax code to allow IRS and Treasury employees to give taxpayers information on low-income taxpayer clinics
- Amends the tax code to restrict the immediate sale of seized property by the Treasury to perishable goods only
- The Treasury is establishing a program for issuing identity protection personal identification numbers (IP PINs) upon request
- Requires a single point of contact at the IRS for taxpayers who fall victim to tax-related identity theft
- Requires electronic filing of the annual returns of tax-exempt organizations and make those returns available for public inspection
These new bills are supposed to help redesign the IRS so that it can provide quality service with the taxpayer first mindset and help prevent future abuse in enforcement powers. This is the first time the agency has been redesigned in 20 years. The bills also would require the IRS to submit to Congress plans to restructure the agency to improve efficiency, better service taxpayers and enhance cyber security. The legislation would also override the IRS’s enforcement tools which means families and small businesses won’t have their property seized without fair notice and due process. A majority of these tax bills passed the House with unanimous consent and many people think this will drastically improve taxpayer experience which is deeply needed with their out of date technology. The IRS Reforms bills will now move to the Senate to be voted on.