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Tax Law Explained FLASHPOINTS July 2019

July 15, 2019Print This Post Print This Post

Keith B. Baker, CPA, JD, Law Offices of Keith B. Baker, Ltd., Skokie
847-933-0200 | E-mail Keith Baker

Taxpayer First Act of 2019 — IRS Overhaul Legislation

The Taxpayer First Act of 2019, H.R. 3151, 116th Cong., 1st Sess., had been bouncing around between the House and Senate for several years. It was intended to overhaul what and how the IRS does many things. The principal thrust is to make the IRS kinder, gentler, and more user friendly for taxpayers. The House and Senate, with broad support of both Democrats and Republicans, have passed the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (the House passed H.R. 3151 on June 10, 2019, and the Senate passed the identical version on June 13, 2019), and it is sitting on the President’s desk. It is anticipated that the President will sign it.

Among the provisions are

  1. development of a comprehensive customer service strategy by the IRS;

  2. a National Taxpayer Advocate program comprised of IRS employees who act on behalf of taxpayer;

  3. an improved offer in compromise (OIC) program;

  4. limitations on the IRS’s power to seize property;

  5. more protections for “innocent spouses”;

  6. fewer “John Doe” summons and be more specific as to taxpayers and tax code violations;

  7. an IRS appeals process that is more transparent to taxpayers;

  8. limitations use of private debt collectors where the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income puts them below 200 percent of the poverty line;

  9. more robust anti-identity theft programs; detection by the IRS, notification to taxpayers, and dealing with real or suspected theft;

  10. allow the IRS to accept credit card and debit cards directly rather than using third-party processors; and

  11. free tax preparation and filing processes that do not end up being directed to third-party processors such as H&R Block and TurboTax that end up charging fees (hence not really free).

If signed by the President, the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 would move not only how the IRS acts but also how it is perceived in a positive direction.

For more information about tax law, see STATE AND LOCAL TAXATION — 2017 EDITION. Online Library subscribers can view it for free by clicking here. If you don’t currently subscribe to the Online Library, visit www.iicle.com/subscriptions.

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