House overwhelmingly approves bill to overhaul the IRS
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a series of bipartisan bills to overhaul tax administration with votes meant to coincide with the April 17 filing deadline.
The most significant legislation (H.R. 5444) would reform the IRS through information technology modernization, services changes, and an independent Office of Appeals. See our previous alert for more information. It was approved in a unanimous 414–0 vote. Most of the other bills were passed by voice vote, with two others approved with only a few dissenters. These bills include provisions that would:
- Restrict the ability of Treasury to immediately sell seized goods (H.R. 5446)
- Enhance the volunteer and tax assistance programs (H.R. 2901 and 5440)
- Update IRS technology and electronic administration (H.R. 5445)
- Help combat identity fraud (H.R. 5445, 5437, and 5439)
- Require tax-exempt organizations to file electronically (H.R. 5443)
It is common for the House to move tax bills on the filing deadline to reinforce messaging around their tax priorities. The passage of the bills does not necessarily indicate that enactment is close or even likely. The overwhelming bipartisan agreement on many of the bills could give them more traction than usual, but the Senate generally moves slower than their counterparts in the lower chamber. There will be few opportunities for significant legislation before the midterm elections, given the limited number of legislative vehicles remaining this year.
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