Rep. LaMalfa Votes to Hold the IRS Accountable to Taxpayers
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. LaMalfa (R-CA) released the following statement after voting in support of a package of measures intended to hold the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accountable to American taxpayers:
“Americans work hard to support their families and should be able to trust the IRS to be competent, responsive, and free from partisan politics in collecting taxes. Unfortunately, the IRS has repeatedly broken that trust. In 2013, the agency paid an estimated 5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds, admittedly leaked confidential tax information, and targeted tax exempt organizations based on the political agenda of IRS leadership. Equally concerning, nearly 4 out of every 10 taxpayers calling for assistance were unable to get through to an agent, and over 50 percent of the agency’s correspondence has been answered outside of established timeframes.
“These failures shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere, much less in our government. On Tax Day, I am proud to support these common sense measures to ensure basic taxpayer rights in this civil society. The IRS is ultimately responsible to the taxpayers for its conduct, and these measures ensure the agency starts operating accordingly.”
The package of measures unanimously passed out of the House of Representatives consisted of the following:
- H.R. 1058: The Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2015 compels the IRS Commissioner to ensure that IRS employees are familiar with and act in accordance with the taxpayer bill of rights, which includes the right to privacy, the right to confidentiality, and the right to a fair and just tax system.
- H.R. 1152: The IRS Email Transparency Act prohibits officers and employees of the IRS from using personal email accounts to conduct official business. Hardworking taxpayers should not have to worry about is the IRS’s mishandling of their private information.
- H.R. 1026: The Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations Act allows taxpayers that have been victimized by the IRS to find out basic facts, such as if their case is being investigated or referred.
- H.R. 1314: The Ensuring Tax Exempt Organizations the Right to Appeal Act directs the Treasury Secretary to create procedures under which a 501(c) organization facing an adverse determination may request administrative appeal to the IRS’s Internal Office of Appeals
- H.R. 1295: The IRS Bureaucracy Reduction and Judicial Review Act streamlines the 501(c)(4) recognition process, simply requiring organizations to submit a one-page notice to IRS within 60 days of formation along with a small fee, to help prevent the IRS from targeting organizations because of their political or religious beliefs when filing for tax‐exempt status.
- H.R. 709: The Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act makes taking official action for political purposes to be a firing offense for an IRS employee. Unfortunately, the IRS initially refused to fire some staff involved in political targeting of nonprofit groups.
- H.R. 1104: The Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act explicitly exempts donations to tax-exempt organizations from the gift tax, codifying longstanding practice and bringing clarity to the tax code so that Americans can have confident that their giving decisions will be respected.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.