Sadly, I don’t think the massive IT failure at the IRS yesterday surprised anybody. After all, this isn’t a government agency that inspires a terrific amount of confidence.
If you’re like most Americans and have struggled with the IRS’s confusing and inefficient bureaucracy, then I have some good news for you—this week, we passed a desperately-needed overhaul of the IRS system with one singular mission in mind: taxpayer first.
These bills will completely modernize the IRS’s infrastructure to provide greater accountability, transparency and security. That includes strengthening cybersecurity, increasing protections against identity theft and dramatically upgrading IRS technology to bring IRS service into the 21st century. That means no more fax machines to conduct official IRS communications, no more Kennedy-era IT infrastructure to administer our nation’s tax code and no more absurd wait times as you try to maneuver through the IRS’s massive bureaucracy waiting to get your case resolved.
These changes represent a shift in the way the entire IRS system works—we are putting the burden of proof back onto the IRS to hold them accountable, strengthen taxpayer protections, and most importantly, put the taxpayer first.
That means that, next year, not only will you be able to keep more of your hard-earned money as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but if these bills become law, you’ll have more free time as a result of a modernized, more efficient and less confusing IRS system. Here are a few of the bills we passed:
- The Taxpayers First Act creates an independent appeals process so that taxpayers can pay exactly what they owe and not a penny more. This will ensure a fair playing field for everyone and creates new safeguards for private information.
- The 21st Century IRS Act upgrades the IRS’s information technology to bring it into the digital age by modernizing cybersecurity and expanding online services.
- The Justice for Victims of IRS Scams and Identity Theft Act will require the Attorney General and Secretary of the Treasury to submit reports to Congress detailing their efforts to combat identity theft.
- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Permanence Act of 2017 will permanently authorize the Free File and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs, which give low- and moderate- income communities assistance filing their taxes.
- The Protecting Children from Identity Theft Act will protect individuals' sensitive information by allowing financial institutions to instantly verify the accuracy of customers’ personal identity information in order to prevent identity theft.