Congress may be inching toward an agreement on an IRS reform and tax administration bill.
The Taxpayer First Act (H.R. 1957
) has been held up in the Senate over concerns about a provision that would codify the Free File program. Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has now stated staff are working on ways to address those concerns. Ranking minority member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) went further, suggesting he would be amenable to stripping the provision from the bill entirely.
The bill was expected to advance swiftly with broad bipartisan support. Leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate initially had a “four corners” agreement in place to secure its passage. It was approved by the House of Representatives by unanimous voice vote on April 9 and was to be fast-tracked by the Senate without amendment. The expedited “hotline” process, which requires unanimous consent, was halted after several Democrats, including some running for president, opposed codifying Free File. For more details, see our prior coverage
The top tax writers in the House have indicated they would be willing to consider changes to the provision, setting up the possibility that the Senate will send an amended version of the bill back to the House for approval. However, removal of the provision may complicate that. Leaders from both chambers will likely need to secure unanimous support for an amended bill in order to secure speedy passage and prevent it from being mired by further controversy.
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