U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) applauded the passage of a bill by the U.S. House of Representatives that would implement certain reforms to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Taxpayer First Act includes many of the initiatives that Portman included in a bill he introduced last year called the Protecting Taxpayers Act.
“The House-passed bill includes many of the provisions from my Protecting Taxpayers Act, the IRS reform bill I introduced with Senator Cardin last year,” Portman said. “In particular, this bill includes provisions that establish an Independent Office of Appeals and strengthen taxpayers’ right to an appeal, an important taxpayer right first established in the 1998 IRS reform legislation that I authored in the House. The bill also preserves the IRS Oversight Board, giving the IRS and Congress a chance to revitalize the Board so that it may achieve its original purpose, acting as a board of directors for the agency.”
The bill would reconstitute the IRS Oversight Board, establish an Independent Office of Appeals and strengthen taxpayers’ right to an appeal, direct the IRS to develop a comprehensive training strategy for their employees and require the IRS to issue uniform guidance for the use of electronic signatures. The legislation would also reauthorize streamlined critical pay authority for IRS IT employees, protect low-income taxpayers by authorizing additional funding for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, codify low-income taxpayer exceptions from fee waivers and lump sum payments associated with IRS payment plans, direct the IRS to issue procedures for when direct deposits of tax refunds are sent to the wrong account, and modify the IRS’s legal authority to issue a designated summons.
“This bill represents the most significant reform to the IRS in two decades and is an important first step toward restoring full faith in one of our government’s most important agencies,” Portman said. “There is still plenty of work that we can do to continue to modernize and strengthen the agency so that it better serves American taxpayers, and I look forward to Senate Finance consideration of additional IRS reform initiatives now that a new Commissioner is fully in place. I would urge my Senate colleagues to join me in passing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation so that it can be sent to the president’s desk for his signature.”
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