President Donald Trump signed into law on July 1 the Taxpayer First Act of 2019, legislation to redesign the Internal Revenue Service.
House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., said the signing was “the culmination of a lengthy, bipartisan process undertaken by the Ways and Means Committee to implement pro-taxpayer reforms at the IRS for the first time in more than 20 years.”
The law puts into place “new protections for low-income taxpayers, practical enforcement reforms, and upgraded assistance for taxpayers and small businesses,” Neal added.
The Taxpayer First Act of 2019, which had bipartisan support, originally passed the full House on April 2 and included a “free-file” provision prohibiting the IRS from creating a free tax-preparation software and thus competing with the tax-preparation industry. But lawmakers introduced a new version of the bill — H.R. 3151 — that excludes that provision. The House passed that bill on June 11 and the Senate did so on June 13.
Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, ranking member on the Ways & Means Committee, added in a statement that the law requires the IRS to submit to Congress in 2020 a plan to redesign the agency.
“For the first time, it puts into law a truly independent appeals process so our taxpayers’ claims are heard fairly,” Brady said.
“It also levels the playing field to ensure taxpayers have the same information as the agency, better protects our taxpayers information, and reins in past IRS abuses to guarantee families and local businesses never have to fear having their accounts and property seized without fair and due process.”
The bill’s 45 changes to the IRS include creating an independent appeals process, strengthening the IRS’ ability to proactively combat identity theft tax refund fraud, and improving the taxpayer experience across the IRS’ suite of taxpayer services.