July 19,2018

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Katie Niederee and Julia Lawless, 202-224-4515

Hatch, Wyden Introduce IRS Administration Bill

Bipartisan Legislation Moves to Bring Outdated Agency into the 21st Century

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today introduced the Taxpayer First Act (S. 3246), bipartisan legislation to reform certain administrative practices at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The legislation, based on two 114th Congress bills (S. 3156 and S. 3157) that passed the Finance Committee unanimously in 2016, aims to assist the agency by: increasing taxpayer protections and electronic filing; enhancing whistleblower protections; reforming policies concerning IRS employees; increasing scrutiny of IRS audit criteria; and supporting prevention of identity theft and tax refund fraud.

 “Ensuring the IRS has greater flexibility and bringing it into the 21st century continues to be a top priority – especially with the largest rewrite of the tax code in more than three decades on the books,” Hatch said. “We’ve been working hand in glove with the administration to ensure a proper and seamless implementation of new policies and are confident this bill will streamline the agency in a way that protects taxpayers from fraud and abuse, increases electronic filing and supports IRS employees.”

"With every passing day there’s a new headline about hackers and crooks stealing taxpayer dollars and personal data,”  Wyden saidCongress must do more to protect American taxpayers from fraud and financial abuse. This bipartisan legislation will make common-sense changes to help taxpayers and streamline administrative rules at the IRS, which will allow tax officials and agents to better safeguard the American people against financial predators.”

The Taxpayer First Act would:
- Increase taxpayer rights protections;
- Enhance whistleblower protections/reforms;
- Reform laws governing IRS employees;
- Enhance scrutiny of IRS audit criteria;
- Prevent identity theft and tax refund fraud; and
- Increase electronic filing of tax returns.

Bill text of S. 3246 can be found here.

A summary of S. 3246 can be found here.

Background: This legislation follows H.R. 5444, which passed the House unanimously in April. H.R. 5444 was based in part on provisions the Finance Committee approved in 2016.