Legislation has been introduced in the House that would cut the IRS budget from last year’s levels and impose new restrictions on the agency in an effort to protect taxpayer rights. It is expected to be considered in a subcommittee this week.
The 2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill cuts funding for the Internal Revenue Service by $149 million from the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. However, it provides increased funding to strengthen information technology security at the agency, something that was called for in the White House budget proposal.
The bill also includes some provisions which the House Appropriations Committee said helps to “address underperformance and previous poor management and decision-making at the IRS.” Among them include:
- A prohibition on funds for bonuses or to rehire former employees unless employee conduct and tax compliance is given consideration
- A prohibition on a proposed regulation related to political activities and the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) organizations which the House Appropriations Committee says could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of many nonprofit organizations and inhibit citizens from exercising their right to freedom of speech
- A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs
- A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights
The bill also targets part of ObamaCare via the IRS by including provisions to stop the agency from implementing an individual insurance mandate on Americans.
A recent spending bill that was signed into law contained similar provisions for the IRS. Among those included a prohibition of funds to target groups based on their ideological beliefs and prohibiting paying bonuses or rehiring employees without considering compliance with federal tax laws.