Press Releases

DelBene, Bishop Applaud Unanimous Committee Passage of Legislation to Modernize the IRS

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Washington, D.C., April 11, 2018 | comments
Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) applauded the unanimous House Ways and Means Committee passage of H.R. 5445, the 21st Century IRS Act, to modernize technology and protect taxpayer identity at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Their bipartisan legislation is part of a larger package of bills aimed to redesign and update the IRS for the first time in over 20 years.  
“As a former tech CEO, I was astounded to learn that the IRS is still using fax equipment to conduct regular business and has IT systems still running from the 1960s,” said Rep. DelBene. “It is long past time for the IRS to enter the digital age. The 21st Century IRS Act will enhance IRS security measures to keep taxpayers safe from fraud and give hardworking Americans more peace of mind. It will also make it easier for people to submit tax forms online while easing burdens on small businesses. Much work remains, but these are important steps in bringing the IRS into the 21st century.”

“During my time in the Michigan State Legislature, I authored the Michigan Identity Theft Protection Act to better protect the very valuable personal identities of Michigan citizens and to provide remedies for victims to restore the integrity of their personal finances. This is an issue that hits home for me because I’ve seen the devastation identity theft can inflict on a family or small-business owner,” said Rep. Bishop. “It’s been two decades since Congress has considered legislation to overhaul the IRS, and we all understand the rapid changes our technology has experienced during this timeframe. The 21st Century IRS Act takes meaningful action to address this problem by providing the IRS much-needed tools to strengthen taxpayer protections and bringing IRS technology out of the 20th century.”

The 21st Century IRS Act would: 

• Codify recent efforts of the IRS, through the Security Summit, to foster a partnership [with public and private stakeholders] aimed at combatting identity theft tax refund fraud.  
• Require the IRS to develop an internet portal that would facilitate taxpayers filing Forms 1099 with the IRS phased in beginning in 2020.
• Authorize the IRS to develop an automated system to request transcripts under the Income Verification Express Service (IVES) system. To cover the costs for developing the system, six months after enactment, the IRS is authorized to assess and collect a separate user fee over a two-year period on all IVES requests.
• Allow the IRS to directly accept credit and debit card payments for taxes, provided that the fee is paid by the taxpayer.
• Require Treasury to work with private industry to find ways to utilize new payment platforms and increase the amount of tax refunds delivered electronically.  

To read the section-by-section for the 21st Century IRS Act, click here. DelBene’s opening remarks on H.R. 5445 in the Ways and Means Committee hearing can be seen here.


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