January 11, 2017
TO: IRS Chapter Presidents and IRS Legislative Coordinators
RE: House Tax Reform Blueprint Includes Proposal to Restructure IRS
SUMMARY: Last June, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee unveiled a blueprint to reform the U.S. tax code which calls for restructuring the IRS.
Last June, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee unveiled a blueprint to reform the U.S. tax code which calls for restructuring the IRS. The proposal, titled a “Better Way for Tax Reform,” calls for reorganizing the IRS into three divisions: one focusing on individuals and families, another dedicated to business taxes, and a division providing a small claims court to handle disputes. In addition, the restructuring proposal calls for installing a new Commissioner, subject to term limits, creating an Office of Dispute Resolution, modernizing IT systems, and “clearing out the bureaucracy” by eliminating unnecessary rules, regulations, forms and instructions.
While the overall tax reform blueprint, including the call to restructure the IRS was never introduced as a piece of legislation before the 114th Congress adjourned, we expect the proposals contained in the blueprint could be incorporated into legislation that the House may act on during the 115th Congress.
NTEU is very concerned about the Ways and Means’ Republicans call to restructure the IRS. In particular, we are concerned that in crafting their proposal, Republican Ways and Means Committee members did not seek input from NTEU or the dedicated and experienced front-line employees that perform the critical taxpayer service and enforcement duties on behalf of the American public. Furthermore, we are concerned the proposal blatantly ignores the primary factors that have hampered the IRS’s ability to carry out its taxpayer service and enforcement missions in recent years: drastic reductions to the budget of more than $900 million since 2010, which has forced the IRS to reduce staffing by more than 18,000.
At this point, the Ways and Means Republican tax reform proposal, including the call to restructure the IRS remains just that, a proposal. However, you can be assured that NTEU is already working with our supporters in the House to make clear the best way to ensure the IRS is able to carry out its customer service and enforcement mission and to provide it with the necessary resources, not move around boxes on an organization chart.
NTEU will provide you with updates on any new action related to this issue. Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please contact the NTEU Legislation Department at (202) 572-5500.
Anthony M. Reardon