Grassley Statement on House Passage of IRS Reform Bill
WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released the following statement on the House passage of the Taxpayer First Act.
“Not many people look forward to interacting with the IRS. The process can be long, confusing and tedious. That’s particularly true for taxpayers who encounter frustrating situations that may seem unfair. It’s true for whistleblowers who aren’t treated respectfully, and it’s true for ordinary taxpayers who want to make sure their privacy and security are protected,” Grassley said. “The House passage of the bipartisan, bicameral Taxpayers First Act is the first step toward reforming the IRS and strengthening taxpayer protections. It should pass in the Senate without delay.”
Grassley introduced the Taxpayer First Act in the Senate earlier this year with Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The bipartisan Senate legislation:
· Establishes an independent office of appeals within the IRS;
· Requires the IRS to submit to Congress plans to redesign the structure of the agency to improve efficiency, modernize technology systems, enhance cyber security and better meet taxpayer needs;
· Includes a number of provisions to help protect taxpayers from tax ID theft and improve taxpayer interaction with the IRS should they become a victim of this crime;
· Expands to all taxpayers an IRS program that currently only allows victims of tax ID theft to obtain a personalized PIN that better secures their identity;
· Puts in place new safeguards to protect taxpayers against recent IRS enforcement abuses of so-called “structuring laws”;
· Improves the IRS whistleblower program by:
o authorizing the IRS to communicate with whistleblowers during the processing of their claims, while also protecting taxpayer privacy; and
o extending anti-retaliation provisions to IRS whistleblowers that are presently afforded to whistleblowers under other whistleblower laws;
· Modifies the private debt collection program to ensure lower-income Americans are not targeted, while also strengthening the long-term viability of the program; and
· Codifies the successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, allowing the IRS up to $30 million for matching grants to qualifying tax preparation sites.
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