Congress Works Toward Bipartisan IRS ReformSeptember 13, 2018
Melissa A. Dorsey, CPA, MST
The SFC subcommittee hearing came just days after the 20-year anniversary of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. The House and Senate are currently working toward approving bipartisan legislation that would significantly reform the IRS for the first time in 20 years.
SFC Taxation and IRS Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., unveiled on July 26 the bipartisan Protecting Taxpayers Bill. The measure aims to reform a number of IRS functions and administrative practices, according to a joint press release issued the same day.
“It has been 20 years since the last significant IRS reform, and it is time to update the agency once again,” Portman said in the press release. Similarly, Cardin praised the bill for including needed updates to modernize the IRS, saying, "Americans of all income levels deserve a responsive, effective IRS, and the updates contained in this bipartisan bill will help keep the IRS on that path.”
Additionally, SFC Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., recently introduced the bipartisan Taxpayer First Bill (Sen. 3246). The measure would also reform certain administrative practices at the IRS.
To that end, the House approved its bipartisan IRS reform package, the Taxpayer First Bill ( HR 5444) last April. The House package contains several proposals, which would, among other things:
- Establish a single point of contact for tax-related identity theft victims;
- Expand the use of Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs); and
- Require electronic filing for certain tax-exempt organizations
Hatch previously told Wolters Kluwer that the House’s IRS reform proposals are a “welcomed step forward.” Additionally, Hatch told Wolters Kluwer that he will work with his “colleagues in Congress to find a path forward that reflects both the House and Senate views.”
Melissa A. Dorsey, CPA, MST, is a Tax Director for BlumShapiro, the largest regional business advisory firm based in New England, with offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The firm, with a team of over 500, offers a diversity of services, which include auditing, accounting, tax and business advisory services. Blum serves a wide range of privately held companies, government and non-profit organizations and provides non-audit services for publicly traded companies. To learn more visit us at blumshapiro.com.