In response to a slew of recent IRS scandals, including the targeting of conservative organizations applying for tax exempt status, Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-IL) today introduced a series of bills aimed at stopping IRS abuses. The bills, H.Res 280, H.R. 2530, 2531, 2532, and 2533 would enumerate a basic Taxpayer Bill of Rights, as well as prescribe how the IRS interacts with taxpayers moving forward in a way that increases IRS transparency and accountability.
"Practically every day there's news of a new scandal at the IRS, and unfortunately it seems the Administration is incapable of getting the IRS under control and restoring faith in the agency," said Roskam. "The targeting of individuals by the IRS based on their political and social beliefs cuts to the core of American's trust in government, and it's time to institute reforms in order to protect taxpayers from further abuse."
H.Res 280, The Taxpayer Bill of Rights, would insist that individual taxpayers have such basic rights as the right to be informed and assisted, the right of appeal and the right to confidentiality, among others.
H.R. 2530, the Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act would require the IRS to disclose to the taxpayer when the IRS has shared their tax information with another government agency and place a time limit on how long an individual can be subjected to an IRS audit.
H.R. 2531, the Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act would prevent the IRS from inquiring on an individual's religious, political, or social beliefs. Any change to the policy would require Congressional approval.
H.R. 2532, the Integrity Restoration Strategy or IRS Act would reform the procedure for groups applying for tax-exempt status. If the IRS does not substantively respond to an organization seeking tax-exempt status within a certain length of time, then the organization will be automatically granted tax-exempt status, putting the onus on the IRS to prove that the organization does not deserve tax-exempt status.
Finally, H.R. 2533, the Stop Playing on Citizen's Cash or the SPOCC Act goes after the IRS' wasteful conference spending in light of reports the IRS was holding multimillion dollar junkets for employees. The IRS would be required to comply with all recommendations from the Treasury Inspector General and receive approval from Congress before resuming conference spending.
Earlier today, Roskam questioned IRS Principal Deputy Commissioner Daniel Werfel about the agency's misuse of power and their hiding of evidence from Congress based on false claims of confidentiality.