One of the government’s most powerful agencies has recently proven to be one of the most incompetent and corrupt as well. That’s right, we’re talking about everyone’s favorite – the IRS. So this week, House Republicans addressed the agency’s misconduct through the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2015 (H.R. 5016).
Here are 10 things H.R. 5016 will do to protect Americans from the abusive behavior of the IRS:
1. Significantly reduces IRS funding. Because it doesn’t make sense to reward a bad job with more money, the House voted to cut IRS funding $1.48 billion. This will bring spending levels for the IRS below 2003 funding levels.
2. Prevents the IRS from implementing more regulations on non-profit organizations. There are already a lot of rules in place for 501 (c)(4) organizations – and more regulations will cost more money, take more time, and create an even more inefficient tax process for non-profits. H.R. 5016 keeps the IRS in check, and their red tape at a minimum.
3. Prevents the IRS from implementing Obamacare. One of the most hypocritical aspects of Obamacare is that those who don’t pay insurance fees – often because they are fiscally unable – are then slammed with another government fine. H.R. 5016 prevents the IRS from using taxpayers’ dollars to enforce Obamacare’s individual mandate, and prevents transferring funds from the HHS to the IRS.
4. Prohibits IRS targeting. Americans have read news headline after news headline of Lois Lerner and the IRS’s discriminatory actions against conservative groups. This bill protects all Americans from scrutiny based on ideological beliefs.
5. Protects the 1st Amendment. This bill prohibits the IRS from using any funds to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment Rights – because nobody should mess with the Constitution.
6. Prohibits funding for IRS bonuses. Like the Lois Lerner scandal continues to show us, there’s a lot of incompetence at the IRS. This bill eliminates unnecessary and undeserved bonuses to IRS employees.
7. Prevents Destruction of Records. Yep, this is referring to exactly what you’re thinking of: “lost” emails. H.R. 5016 prevents the IRS to destroy, deface, or dispose of records – including emails.
8. Stops Unnecessary Waste. The House voted to prohibit IRS funding (and taxpayer dollars) from being used to create inappropriate videos and hold frivolous conferences.
9. Protects and Serves Taxpayers. Perhaps most importantly, this bill will protect the privacy of Americans – reducing identity theft and increasing confidentiality.
10. Improves IRS Accountability. Finally, this legislation requires the IRS to establish an employee training program that will enforce the necessities – taxpayers’ rights, ethics, and applying tax law impartially.
One of the most important responsibilities of the House of Representatives is to provide a balance of protection for the rights of Americans. Today, House Republicans voted to curb the power of the IRS by decreasing funding and demanding accountability.