The full House is expected to take up and debate Tuesday the nine bills to reshape the IRS, including the Taxpayer First Act, which House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, says will turn the IRS into a “modern, 21st century agency focused on ‘taxpayer first’ service.”
The House Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved on April 11 the package of bills that enhance customer service, improve the IRS’ outdated IT infrastructure and modernize the appeals process.
The full House is scheduled to take up and debate Wednesday the 21st Century IRS Act.
“Even without the fear of an unexpected audit, taxpayers often find the IRS to be inaccessible and intimidating when looking for help,” Brady wrote in a Monday Houston Chronicle op-ed. “Most Americans would agree that the IRS has forgotten that they work for the taxpayers, and not the other way around.”
Unfortunately, in many cases, Brady wrote, “the IRS has failed to provide the quality customer service they claim to be striving for, even when it comes to simply answering the phone when a taxpayer calls.”
He cited the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office report in 2015, which found that the IRS “not only had no strategy in place to define what quality customer service should look like, but there were no plans to develop one.”
Current IRS technology “does little to facilitate customer service or offer assistance during an audit,” Brady wrote, stating that the outdated systems “can leave the IRS vulnerable to serious cyber threats from around the world.”