H.R. 4885, IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act of 2016

H.R. 4885

IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act of 2016

Ways and Means

April 20, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 4885, the IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act of 2016, under a rule. H.R. 4885 was introduced on March 23, 2016 by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), and was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by a vote of 24-14, on April 13, 2016.


Bill Summary

H.R. 4885 requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to deposit fees for service in the general fund of the Treasury and prohibits the expenditure of such fees unless an appropriation is set by Congress.



Federal agencies are permitted to establish fees for certain services provided by an agency if the charges are: fair; based on the costs to the government; represent the value of the service to the recipient, the public policy, or interest served; and other relevant facts. Such policies are set by the Office of Management and Budget.[1] The IRS collects approximately $400 million in user fees annually.  In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million to serving the needs of taxpayers, while in 2015 the IRS allocated $49 million, a 73% cut.  Additionally, in 2015 more than $200 million of generated user fees were used to implement technology to enforce the individual and employee Obamacare mandates.[2]

According to the bill’s sponsor, “The IRS is an agency out of control. Instead of using these resources to help taxpayers, reduce wait times and improve services provided to the American public, the IRS is using this User Fee slush fund to implement Obamacare. The IRS has a stained track record and actions such as the illegal targeting of conservative and religious groups proves that they can’t be trusted to utilize User Fee resources […].”[3]

[1] See Joint Committee on Taxation, Description of H.R. 4885, A Bill to Require that User Fees Collected by the Internal Revenue Service be Deposited into the General Fund of the Treasury (JCX-21-16), April 12, 2016 at 2.
[2] See Rep. Smith’s Press Release, “Congressman Jason Smith Introduces Bill to Rein in IRS, Block Obamacare Implementation” March 30, 2016.
[3] Id.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is not available at this time. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that implementing H.R. 4885 will have no effect on Federal fiscal year budget receipts for the 2016-2026 period.


Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.