Sending Office: Honorable Mike Bishop
Last month the House overwhelmingly voted to pass H.R. 5445, the 21st Century IRS Act. This legislation will bring sorely needed updates to the IRS’s Information Technology (IT) systems and improve taxpayer experiences when they deal with the agency.
We are hopeful that the Senate Finance Committee will be putting together its own IRS Reform bill, and so Representatives Bishop and DelBene are leading a letter to Finance Committee Chairman Hatch to ask for the consideration, and inclusion, of provisions
that will ease the burden on taxpayers when they interact with the IRS. The letter is copied below.
The letter will close COB Friday, May 18. If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Block (Andrew.Block@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Bishop’s office or Lauren Soltani (Lauren.Soltani@mail.house.gov) in Rep. DelBene’s office.
Dear Senator Hatch:
We write today to express our support of the provisions included in H.R. 5445, the 21st Century IRS Act, and urge their consideration, and inclusion, as the Senate Finance Committee considers legislation to reform the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As
you know the House recently passed H.R. 5444, the Taxpayer First Act, which included the text of several different bills, including the 21st Century IRS Act.
We can all agree that the IRS is in desperate need of reforms. Whether it is hours spent by taxpayers waiting on the phone or millions of improper tax refunds paid out to bad actors, there are plenty of areas for improvement at the IRS. Many of these problems
can be addressed by updating the agency’s technology, and truly bringing it into the 21st Century. For example, many people are surprised to learn that the IRS still relies on the use of fax machines to transmit some written documents.
In fact, when lenders, financers, or other lessors need to verify a borrower’s income, the IRS has a verification process in place – just not an efficient one. Lenders must fax the information to the IRS and wait until an agency employee manually checks
the document and responds. This turns a process that could be completed in minutes into a process that often takes days. H.R. 5445 will not only make this process more efficient, it will also help make borrowing easier and safer for small businesses and consumers.
Another important aspect of the bill is its emphasis on easing the burden on taxpayers by increasing the amount of electronic transactions they have with the IRS. The 21st Century IRS Act includes a number of provisions on this topic, including one that
will make it easier for taxpayers to e-file their Form 1099s. Another section would allow the IRS to directly receive tax payments made by debit and credit cards, which are currently routed to a third party for collection. And Section 105 would require the
IRS and Treasury to assess how they can utilize new payment platforms, such as prepaid debit cards, digital wallets, or other emerging technologies, to deliver tax refunds in a more timely and accurate manner to taxpayers.
Finally, the bill brings much needed accountability to the IRS’s efforts to modernize its antiquated information technology (IT) systems. The bill requires comprehensive strategic IT planning, sets clear guidelines and responsibilities for officers at the
IRS as it relates to the acquisition of software and other IT, and puts in place additional oversight of two of the largest and most problematic IRS IT systems.
We appreciate your consideration of all of these provisions as the Senate Finance Committee continues to work on legislation to improve the IRS and its relationship with the American people. We urge the incorporation of these provisions in any Senate legislation
and we look forward to working with you as this process moves forward.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0