Just in time for tax day, the House Ways and Means Committee approved four bills designed to “make the IRS more accountable to the American people.”
Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) summarized the hearing on the bills, saying, “It is safe to say that we are meeting to highlight the most unpopular week of the year in America – Tax Week. … Americans send a significant portion of their hard-earned dollars to the IRS every April. They deserve an IRS that is committed to delivering the highest level of customer service to American taxpayers.”
The four bills passed out of the Committee are as follows:
- Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2015 (H.R. 3724) would prohibit the IRS from rehiring employees who had been fired for misconduct. Kristi Noem (R-SD), the sponsor of the bill, said in a statement, “[This legislation] is a simple, bipartisan fix to a serious problem. The bill does what the IRS bureaucracy in Washington won’t – it stops the IRS from rehiring former employees who had been fired for cause.”
- IRS Bonuses Tied to Measurable Metrics (H.R. 4890) prohibits the IRS from paying bonuses to employees until the Secretary of the Treasury develops and implements a comprehensive customer service strategy. The bill’s sponsor, Pat Meehan (R-PA), said in a statement, “The IRS has shown that it will prioritize bonuses over assisting taxpayers. This legislation would bring accountability to the process by requiring the IRS to complete a customer service strategy before paying out any more bonuses.”
- The No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act (H.R. 1206) suspends the hiring of new IRS employees unless the Treasury Secretary certifies that no IRS employees have serious delinquencies with respect to their own tax obligations.
- The IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending Act of 2016 (H.R. 4885) repeals the current provision that lets the IRS spend the user fees it collects without Congressional approval and requires the Treasury to deposit the funds into a general fund that will be used for improving taxpayer services.