Murkowski and Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect Taxpayer Rights and Privacy

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and colleagues introduced the Tax Gap Reform and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Enforcement Act, a bill to protect taxpayers and provide guardrails at the IRS while ensuring that the IRS has the tools and personnel it needs. The legislation is led by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

“I support enforcement of our tax laws to ensure that taxes owed are paid. However, I am concerned that efforts by the Biden Administration would expand the IRS’s monitoring activities excessively and impose inappropriate reporting requirements on bank accounts that threaten taxpayer rights and privacy. I’m supporting the Tax Gap Reform and IRS Enforcement Act, which will help to protect hardworking Alaskans by putting reporting guardrails in place while supporting the IRS’s need for experienced professionals,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “This legislation will work to reform the tax gap, protect taxpayers, require smarter enforcement practices, close the expertise gap at the IRS, and ensure that the middle class are not being treated unfairly. Protecting taxpayers while also requiring the IRS to improve its efficiency and practices is simply the right step.”

Key provisions of the Tax Gap Reform and IRS Enforcement Act:

  • Tax Gap Reform: Requires timely, annually-updated information on tax gap estimates in coordination with the Joint Committee on Taxation.
  • Taxpayer Protection: Prevents the IRS from targeting Americans for their political and ideological beliefs, codifies President Biden’s pledge to not increase audits of taxpayers making less than $400,000 per year, and prohibits the establishment of new bank reporting requirements.
  • Smarter Enforcement: Requires the IRS to use existing data and tools to improve its corporate audit selection process and increase enforcement against high-income non-filers.
  • Closes the Expertise Gap: Creates an IRS enforcement fellowship pilot program to assist with the agency’s most complex audits and case selection decisions.  Before hiring thousands of new agents, Congress should test the effectiveness of increasing expertise in a targeted way.

In addition to Senator Murkowski, original Senate co-sponsors include John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Rounds (R-Nebraska), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) and Todd Young (R-Indiana). 

The legislation is supported by the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for a Free Economy.