Aindriu Colgan, NSWA VP of Governmental Affairs
Last week, the House passed 12 bipartisan bills to reform the IRS. The package was sponsored by Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Ranking Member John Lewis (D-GA) and is designed to modernize the IRS and improve customer service. The bills were reported unanimously out of the Ways and Means Committee. The package requires the IRS to send Congress by September 30, 2020 a comprehensive written plan for reorganizing the agency, including priorities laid out by lawmakers.
Notable reforms include the following:
- Creates a new independent Internal Revenue Service Office of Appeals to ensure that generally all taxpayers are able to access the administrative review process, allowing for their cases to be heard by an independent decision maker.
- Requires the IRS to develop within one year a comprehensive customer service strategy; it must include metrics and benchmarks for measuring the IRS’ success in implementing this strategy.
- Codifies the existing free file program.
- Establishes an income threshold for referring taxpayers to the agency’s private debt collection program.
- Codifies recent efforts at public-private partnerships to protect taxpayers from identity theft.
- Requires the IRS to develop and implement an IT strategic plan.
- Requires the IRS to develop online accounts for taxpayers and their preparers by 2023.
- Requires the IRS to develop and submit to Congress a plan for modernizing the agency’s structure.
You can find a more detailed description of the package here.
While the bills passed the House by significant margins, it is by no means a guarantee that the Senate will pass the package or even consider it. It’s hardly unusual for the Senate not to accept a House product, no matter how bipartisan—especially in an election year.
Also, please note that the U.S. Department of the Treasury continues to work on drafting rules for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s passthrough deduction. The rulemaking is significant and is not expected to be completed before the end of the year at the earliest.
NSWA staff will continue to monitor both the rulemaking and the IRS reform package. Please let us know if you have any more questions.