Taxpayer First Act Finally Passes the approval of The House and Senate.
After several repeated efforts and provisions, the House and Senate have unanimously passed the Taxpayer First Act (aka H.R. Bill 31511) respectively on June 10 and June 13, 2019. The Bill includes various IRS modernization provisions; but most importantly for the mortgage industry, it requires the IRS to create an instant intake and delivery platform for IRS tax transcript data. This Bill is a considerable win for originators, as it will eliminate the delay in receiving tax transcripts and the delays associated with IRS rejected requests
NCS had long advocated the IRS and congressional members to enhance the IRS’ 12-year-old offering.
The Bill gathered momentum in the past year with bipartisan sponsorship from House representatives John Lewis (D-Ga) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa), and the Senate by Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) supporting reforms to the original Bill. Advocacy efforts from trade associations (MBA, CDIA) and NCS’ Cecil Bowman and Curtis Knuth contributed as industry voices influencing the final Bill. The Taxpayer First Act now awaits the President’s signature*.
First introduced to the House in March 2018 by the Ways and Means Oversight Committee, the Bill was presented as a way to modernize the IRS informational system and taxpayer services. It was initially approved by the majority of the House. However, following House approval, a ProPublica article caused the Bill to be abandoned in the Senate. The ProPublica story discussed the original Bill’s ‘Free File’ provision, which effectively prohibited the IRS from creating a free tax preparation system for taxpayers. Private tax preparation companies had long advocated for the ‘Free File’ retention.
Industry experts have long advocated key talking points of the Bill, suggesting improvements to IRS systems that would;
1) make it easy and inexpensive to file taxes,
2) provide people pre-populated tax forms with income data the agency already possesses,
3) enable a free online system for tax preparation and filing services.
With considerable outliers that could impact rollout, NCS anticipates a 2-year implementation timeline. NCS’ industry advocacy team will also closely monitor and address any added user fees the IRS may consider for the program implementation.
* On July 1, 2019, The President of The United States signed the bill into law.
** Bill 928 along with H.R. 1957 got folded into a final H.R. Bill 3151 and approved by the House and Senate.
*** Since the rollout of the IRS' IVES process on October 2006, NCS has been advocating the IRS to automate and modernize their system to improve on data security, time efficiency, and reduced error from manual input.