H.R. 2769: Stop Playing on Citizen's Cash (SPOCC) Act

H.R. 2769

Stop Playing on Citizen's Cash (SPOCC) Act

Date
July 31, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 2769, the Stop Playing on Citizen’s Cash (SPOCC) Act, under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced on July 22, 2013 by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 2769 prevents the Internal Revenue Service from holding any conference until the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration submits a report to Congress that achieves two objectives.  First, the report certifies that the IRS has implemented all of the recommendations set out in an Inspector General’s report from 2010 entitled, “Review of the August 2010 Small Business/Self-Employed Division's Conference in Anaheim, California.”  Second the IG is required to describe how the IRS will implement the recommendations set out by the report.

Background

This legislation was introduced in light of reports that the IRS had been holding multimillion dollar conferences for their employees.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) submitted a report in June, 2013 that found that the IRS had spent $49 million on 225 conferences from 2010 through 2012.[1]  This includes a conference held in Anaheim, California in 2010, which reportedly cost the IRS $4.1 million.  TIGTA found that the IRS could have negotiated lower rates if it did not accept suite upgrade benefits from the hotel where the conference was held. 

TIGTA submitted a reported entitled “Review of the August 2010 Small Business/Self-Employed Division's Conference in Anaheim, California” in June, 2013, which made nine recommendations.  These include:

  • Requiring the IRS CFO to verify that appropriate information is being tracked to ensure actual costs of the conferences can be established and audited.
  • Implementing a policy to determine whether training sessions held at conference qualify for CPE credits for CPA employees.
  • Setting standards for the site of a conference.  The report recommends against non-government facilities unless the benefits will offset increased expenditures and spending will not be seen as unnecessary by the public.
  • Implementing procedures to identify when nongovernment event planners are used, how much they are paid, and how they should be selected.
  • Directing the CFO to establish standards regarding “planning trips” for conferences.
  • Outlining the necessity for produced videos at conferences.  This is in response to the claim that the IRS spent over $50,000 on video skits for prior conferences.
  • Setting standards for whether hotel room upgrades should be allowed.
  • Requiring the submission of W-2 tax forms for local IRS employees who are reimbursed for staying overnight at conferences.
  • Recommending that the CFO establish procedures to determine the necessity of an exhibitor’s hall, promotional items, and other significant costs.

Cost

No CBO estimate is currently available.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.