Bipartisan ideas are very rare these days on Capital Hill, given the current political climate, but lawmakers seem to agree on modernizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and making it more taxpayer friendly.
- Congress wants an independent office of appeals to resolve controversies. Right now, appeals is part of the IRS, and is funded by the IRS. The appeals officer would have to give taxpayers access to their case file before any date of their conference.
- The title for the head of the IRS will change from Commissioner to Administrator. I am not sure why Congress wants this.
- The bill makes permanent the IRS’s free file program. Yes, there really is a “free” IRS free file program. This will provide free tax preparation software for taxpayers with specific incomes. Low income filers won’t need to pay any fee if they want to work out a deal with the IRS under what is known as an “Offer In Compromise.”
- More returns will be required to be electronically filed. Normally, if an accountant files 250 tax returns or more, they are required to electronically file tax returns. The new bill will change this requirements for accountants that file 10 or more returns.
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