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Jenkins Opening Statement at Member Day Hearing on Legislation to Improve Tax Administration

January 30, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) today delivered the following opening statement at a Subcommittee Member Day hearing entitled “Legislation to Improve Tax Administration.”

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Today is a unique opportunity for us to hear from colleagues about their legislative ideas and priorities related to reforming the IRS.  Tax administration is an issue that I have been familiar with for my entire professional life.  As a CPA, I have had years of experience helping individuals and small businesses navigate the complexities associated with filing their taxes.  I know the relationship between the IRS and taxpayers can be strained—particularly as taxpayers strive to understand their tax liability and the IRS struggles to communicate and provide help. 

“I am looking forward to exploring ways to restore the relationship between taxpayers and the IRS and help the agency better administer the tax code.

“Over the last year, through more than 10 formal committee events, this Subcommittee has heard from high-level IRS executives, the National Taxpayer Advocate and agency watchdogs such as GAO and TIGTA on how the IRS is functioning and where they are succeeding and where some assistance may be necessary.  We have also heard from practitioners, public interest groups, small businesses, and individuals about the challenges they face with the IRS.  

“One of the challenges I would like to highlight today is the dispute resolution process at the IRS.  This is an administrative process where the agency seeks to resolve controversies, without litigation. 

“If a taxpayer disagrees with an IRS decision or assessment, Congress determined that a review by an Independent IRS employee should be available.  Unfortunately, over time, the process set up by the IRS has become less independent and taxpayers are frustrated.  Some expressed frustration at the prospect of not being able to plead their case face-to-face. Others have been completely denied access to independent review.  Taxpayers are losing faith that they will receive an independent and fair review of their case. 

“I am looking forward to working with Ranking Member Lewis to address these concerns and others as we craft a bill to reform the IRS. 

“In addition to hearing from my Subcommittee colleagues here behind the dais, I am eager to hear from other non-Subcommittee Members who have spent time and energy on bills to improve the way our tax code is administered.

“Today’s hearing will be structured as follows: Members will have five minutes to discuss their tax administration legislative priorities.  I would remind those Members that they are also able to submit written testimony in support of their legislation.

“I want to thank our witnesses and members of this Subcommittee, for taking time to be here today.”