Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the Taxpayer First Act.
Sponsors say that it is a commonsense, bipartisan reform package to improve the relationship between American taxpayers and the IRS by improving taxpayer services and increasing transparency and accountability at the agency.
The bill includes a provision introduced by Representatives Terri Sewell, D-Selma, and Jason Smith, R-Missouri, the Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act. This provision maintains taxpayers’ legal right to have cases heard by the IRS Office of Appeals; further defines which IRS cases can be designated for litigation and when tax liability assessments can be levied; and eliminates the use of outside law firms for federal tax audits.
“Tax season is often confusing and overly burdensome… I am glad that we are taking steps today to make the tax filing process more efficient, fair and secure for the American people,” Sewell said on the House floor. “Families in my district and across the country will benefit from this bill codifying the Free File program, shielding certain low-income households from private debt collectors and making more resources available online.”
“[The Preserving Taxpayers’ Rights Act] establishes an Independent Office of Appeals within the IRS and gives taxpayers a legal right to impartial, timely and efficient dispute resolution,” Sewell continued. “It also protects taxpayers by clarifying the limited scope of cases which can go to litigation, and it prevents the IRS from outsourcing audits of private taxpayers to outside law firms.”
Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents the Seventh Congressional District in Alabama.
To see video of Sewell’s speech: