WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) announced today that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the 2017 tax filing season. The hearing, entitled “Examining the 2017 Tax Filing Season,” will take place on Wednesday, April 26, at 2:00 PM in room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building. At the hearing, Members will discuss what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is doing to provide services to taxpayers, combat identity theft, and collect taxes in the 2017 season.
Upon announcing the hearing, Chairman Buchanan said:
“More than one hundred million returns have been filed so far during the 2017 tax season. This means millions of Americans are relying on the IRS to properly and fairly administer the tax code and to protect private information. This hearing will highlight what the IRS is doing to address tax fraud and identity theft as well as ways the agency can better serve taxpayers.”
The 2017 tax filing season began on January 23, 2017, and concluded on April 18, 2017. As of April 7, 2017, the IRS had received 103.6 million returns and issued $228.95 billion in refunds to 80 million filers this year. As of March 4, 2017, the IRS had identified and prevented the issuance of more than $900 million in fraudulent tax refunds, with approximately 10 percent of those fraudulent refunds associated with identity theft filers. While the IRS has taken steps to fight identity theft and strengthen its cybersecurity, there are still significant risks that can compromise taxpayer information, as was evidenced in the IRS’ most recent admission that the tax information of up to 100,000 individuals may have been compromised by the FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool. As part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), Congress has also taken action to reduce tax fraud and identity theft by accelerating certain wage reporting deadlines. The 2017 tax filing season will be the first year that key provisions of the PATH Act are implemented by the IRS.