Arlington, VA

By DWI and criminal defense attorney Gary L. Medlin, who is barred and practices in Tarrant County, Texas, with The Medlin Law Firm.

The House Ways and Means Committee held votes on 12 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reforms on Wednesday, April 18 that are aimed at improving the customer service and information technology departments of the agency. Ironically, the vote was held on the new Tax Day, which was pushed back one day due to technical difficulties of the online filing system.

One of the bills that passed with a unanimous vote was created to improve customer service and enforcement. The bill would wind up permanently extending the program that offers free filing for taxpayers who are low-and-middle income.

This same bill would also create a permanent office for independent appeals, rename the IRS commissioner to IRS administrator, and then require said administrator to submit a plan for reorganization to Congress by September 30, 2020.

Another bill that passed, this one by a vote of 414-3, has a focus on updating the information technology and cybersecurity of the agency. The reforms from this bill would allow the IRS to accept debit and credit card payments and expand the systems for electronic tax-filing.

A bill was also passed during the Wednesday vote that would allow the Justice Department to create an expedited review process for identity-theft issues that involve IRS agents being impersonated. This reform bill was passed by a vote of 403-3.

All the bills passed on Wednesday will be added to the package that is sent to the Senate for a vote. There is no date set yet for the Senate to vote on these reforms passed by the House.

“Tax reform continues to occur as the latest set of bills make their way to the Senate,” Gary L. Medlin, a Fort Worth Identity Theft Lawyer of The Medlin Law Firm, said. “It can be challenging to keep up with all of these changes, but it’s important to know how the tax law changes affects how you file in the coming years.”

There were some smaller bills that were passed using voice vote in the House. These bills would provide updates to how identity theft victims are handled by the agency, turn the voluntary income tax assistance program into a permanent one, and require that the agency give 90 days’ notice should it decide to close an assistance center.

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