On Thursday, April 21, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 4890, to impose a ban on the payment of bonuses to employees of the Internal Revenue Service until the Secretary of the Treasury develops and implements a comprehensive customer service strategy, under a structured rule. H.R. 4890 was introduced on April 11, 2016 by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), and was referred to the Committee on Ways Means, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by a vote of 24-15 on April 13, 2016.
H.R. 4890 places a ban on payment of bonuses to employees of the Internal Revenue Service until the Department of the Treasury submits to Congress a comprehensive customer service strategy that has been reviewed and approved by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The legislation requires the strategy to include:
According to the Internal Revenue Service’s Strategic Plan for FY2014-2017, the delivery of high quality and timely service to reduce taxpayer burden and encourage compliance is identified as goal number one. According to the Taxpayer Advocate, the IRS was only able to answer 37% of calls last year during the 2014 filing season, and those callers who managed to get through had to wait on hold an average of 23 minutes. This was a marked drop off compared to the 2013 filing season when 71% of calls were answered and there was an average hold time of 14 minutes. The Commissioner of the IRS expects to answer between 47% and 50% of calls this year for the 2015 filing season.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is unavailable at this time. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that implementing H.R. 4890 would have no effect on Federal fiscal year budget receipts for the 2016-2026 period.
For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.