President Trump Puts Taxpayers First

On July 1, President Trump signed into law H.R. 3151, The Taxpayer First Act. Sounds like it’s putting us, the taxpayers, first, but what exactly does this new bill entail?

H.R. 3151 is comprised of four parts, with each part being broken down into subtitles and sections. The changes are plentiful, so let’s look at some of the highlights of this new bill.

  1. Title I, Putting Taxpayers First
    1. Independent Appeals Process
      1. establishes the IRS Independent Office of Appeals to resolve federal tax controversies without litigation
    1. Improved Service
      1. requires the IRS to develop comprehensive customer service and IRS personnel training strategies
      1. exempts certain low-income taxpayers from payments required to submit an offer-in-compromise
    1. Sensible Enforcement
      1. adds seizure requirements for property derived from an illegal source in structuring transactions
      1. excludes interest received from income on property seized in structuring transactions
      1. clarifies equitable relief from joint liability
      1. modifies procedures for issuance of 3rd party summons
      1. excludes taxpayers whose income substantially consists of disability income or supplemental security income or whose AGI does not exceed 200% of the poverty level from tax collections
      1. modifies the amount of time from 1/3 of lapsed time to 2 years since tax collection assessment to consider a tax receivable eligible for collection inactive
      1. decreases the maximum length of installment agreements for tax collection from 7 years to 5 years
      1. clarifies the Special Compliance Personnel Program
      1. modifies the procedures for contacting a 3rd party related to the determination or collection of a taxpayer’s debt
      1. places limits on non-IRS employees accessing returns and return information
    1. Organizational Modernization
      1. establishes time requirements for responding to Taxpayer Advocate Directives
      1. creates a plan to reorganize the IRS for submission to Congress
    1. Other Provisions
      1. establishes a Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Matching Grant Program
      1. clarifies low-income taxpayer clinic notifications to taxpayers
      1. requires the IRS to give public notice of the closure of taxpayer assistance centers
      1. modifies procedures for whistle-blowers
      1. adds information that can be provided during IRS customer service phone hold
      1. modifies misdirected tax refund requirements
  2. Title II, 21st Century IRS
    1. Cybersecurity and Identity Protection
      1. establishes requirements for cybersecurity and identity protection safeguards
      1. provides notification to taxpayers of suspected identity theft
      1. creates publicly available guidelines for managing cases of stolen identity refund fraud
      1. increases penalties for improper disclosure or use of information by preparers of returns
    1. Development of Information Technology
      1. requires the appointment of an IRS Chief Information Officer responsible for the development, implementation, operation, and maintenance of information technology for the IRS
      1. creates an online platform for preparing, filing, distributing, and maintaining a record of Form 1099
      1. streamlines critical pay authority for information technology positions
    1. Modernization of Consent-Based Income Verification System
      1. creates a fully automated program for disclosing taxpayer information for third-party income verification using the Internet
      1. limits disclosures of taxpayer information by third-parties
    1. Expanded Use of Electronic Systems
      1. expands electronic filing of tax returns
      1. creates uniform standards and procedures for accepting electronic signatures
      1. seeks to minimize debit/credit cards fees for payment of taxes
      1. Secretary of the Treasury (or the Secretary’s delegate) verifies the identity of all new users of eServices
    1. Other Provisions
      1. repeals certain tax compliance procedures and reports
      1. requires IRS to create a comprehensive training strategy for employees within 1 year
  3. Title III, Miscellaneous Provisions
    1. Reform of Laws Governing Internal Revenue Service Employees
      1. prohibits the rehiring of certain IRS employees who were removed for misconduct
      1. requires notification to employee of unauthorized inspection or disclosure of returns/returns information
    1. Provisions Relating to Exempt Organizations
      1. requires mandatory e-filing by tax-exempt organizations and notice before revocation of tax-exempt status for failure to file
    1. Revenue Provision
      1. increases penalties for failure to file tax returns from $205 to $330
  4. Title IV, Budgetary Effects

There are some other small modifications included in the new bill, but this provides you with a good overview for the new bill. For more detailed information, see the entire text of the new bill at https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3151/text.