The IRS Has Long Needed a Redesign, the House Ways and Means Committee’s Efforts to Deliver Such

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement after the House passed legislation to redesign the Internal Revenue Service:

This is the first major step in over 20 years to transform the IRS and I applaud my Republican and Democrat colleagues for passing this bold package. These proposals will offer clarity and certainty to taxpayers by reigning in enforcement powers, calling for modernization of its IT infrastructure, and refocusing the agency on putting taxpayers first.

“I especially want to thank Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Jenkins and Oversight Ranking Member John Lewis for their over two years of work on this legislation. I urge the Senate to quickly send this historic bipartisan achievement to the President’s desk.”

As indicated by Congressman Brady, this effort for serious reform began in March of this year thanks to the work of Lewis and Jenkins.

When the legislation was introduced then, Jenkins said in statement:

“I ran for Congress to reform our broken tax code and I am honored to have played a part in the most significant tax reform in 30 years. However, tax reform was only half of our promise. Our attention must now turn to modernizing the IRS and improving the taxpayer experience.

 “As a CPA, I know from experience the IRS can be very frustrating to deal with. I am proud of the work this subcommittee has done to advance this initiative in a bipartisan fashion. The IRS reform bill we are releasing today will be a giant step forward in improving the taxpayer experience.”

Meanwhile, Lewis said at the time:

The Oversight Subcommittee took our time and conducted thoughtful, bipartisan work to improve taxpayer administration. We held eight public hearings and hosted five roundtable discussions on many of the legislative proposals included in this draft bill. 

“As a result, this is the first time in many years that we will have a bipartisan taxpayer services bill ready for Tax Day. Unfortunately, the bill does not repeal the private debt collection program, but it makes good progress in protecting low- and middle-income taxpayers from harassment and abuse.

“Overall, this experience reminds me of the way that our Committee used to function, and it was wonderful. We produced a serious, thoughtful bill that puts the taxpayer first. I am proud of the process and product, and I hope that we will maintain the bipartisan spirit throughout Committee and Floor consideration.”

The official overview from the Subcommittee noted:

“Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Jenkins and Ranking Member Lewis are releasing today’s discussion draft of proposed legislation to improve Internal Revenue Service (IRS) operations and our system of tax administration.

“This proposed legislation will transform taxpayer interactions with the IRS for the first time since 1998. Two decades later, it is time to modernize the agency’s information technology, infrastructure, and services. It is time to return the IRS back to its ‘service first’ mission.

“Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Jenkins and Ranking Member Lewis have approached these proposals with a great deal of care and thoughtfulness. This discussion draft is the culmination of more than eleven Oversight Subcommittee events, including hearings and roundtable discussions over the last three years. Dozens of witnesses testified before Subcommittee on different topics and with varying viewpoints on how to improve and modernize the IRS. This discussion draft addresses issues raised by these witnesses and incorporates provisions from at least 18 different bills, most of them bipartisan and bicameral.

“The Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee welcomes comments on the draft and would appreciate any specific suggestions for including additional metrics in order to measure the success of the proposed legislation.”

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