Senators offer bipartisan IRS reform bill

Senators offer bipartisan IRS reform bill
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee offered legislation on Thursday to overhaul areas of the IRS, with provisions aimed at improving protections for taxpayers and helping low-income Americans.

The bill from Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSteel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs Trade official warns senators of obstacles to quick China deal Lawmakers divided over how to end shutdowns for good MORE (R-Ohio) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinBipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia Baseball legend Frank Robinson, first black manager in MLB, dies at 83 Biden speaking to Dems on Capitol Hill as 2020 speculation mounts: report MORE (D-Md.) is designed to complement a bipartisan IRS bill that the leaders of the Finance Committee unveiled last week. The bill was introduced on the same day that a Finance subcommittee, led by Portman, held a hearing on improving tax administration.

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Lawmakers in both parties have been interested in making improvements to the IRS so that it better helps taxpayers. And Republicans have viewed reforming the IRS as a way to build upon the tax-cut law they passed last year. The House passed its own bipartisan IRS revamp bill in April.

Portman said that his bill "will restructure and reform the IRS to make it more responsive and accountable to the needs of taxpayers and help restore Americans’ faith in this agency.” 

The bill focuses on six areas: improving the IRS's organizational structure, strengthening taxpayer protections and updating enforcement procedures, making it easier for small businesses and retirement-plan administrators to comply with the tax code, helping low-income taxpayers, reforming the appeals process, and improving the IRS's information technology. 

“Americans of all income levels deserve a responsive, effective IRS, and the updates contained in this bipartisan bill will help keep the IRS on that path,” Cardin said.