Legislation to "Redesign" the IRS Moves Forward

In April, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved legislation to “redesign” the IRS.  Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, stated, “It’s been 20 years since Congress and the Ways and Means Committee last considered major legislation to overhaul the IRS. During that time much has changed, and the IRS must change with it.”

This bipartisan effort produced a set of bills that address a number of key areas, including:

  • Creating in independent appeals process for taxpayer disputes.
  • Ensuring that taxpayers have access to the same information as the IRS during a dispute resolution process.
  • Clamping down on the IRS’s enforcement tools to prevent improper seizures and sales of taxpayer property.
  • Updating IT systems: The Committee noted that 20% of the systems date back to the 1960’s.
  • Addressing cyber security threats. (The IRS received 242,000 reports of identity theft in 2017.)  Among other actions, the bill would create a single point of contact for victims of identity theft.
  • Providing additional assistance for low and moderate-income taxpayers.

Along with these measures, the IRS would be required to submit to Congress, by September 2020, a comprehensive plan on how to restructure the agency. As Chairman Brady noted, “We’re laying out the guardrails and architecture of what the new IRS would look like and requiring them to bring back the restructuring plan.”