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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York

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Donovan Votes for Common Sense IRS Reforms

April 21, 2016
Press Release
House passes five bills to improve customer service, prevent fraud, and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent properly

Washington, DC—April 21, 2016….Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) this week voted to support a package of common sense bills to make the IRS more accountable to the people it serves. Despite the common sense principles contained in the package, though, it faces resistance from President Obama.

Congressman Donovan said, “This package puts customer service ahead of employee bonuses, prevents tax-delinquent citizens from becoming tax collectors, and prohibits the IRS from rehiring employees who were already fired for misconduct. It’s common sense.”

The policies enacted through the bill package should have broad appeal. For example, last year the IRS failed to answer six out of ten phone calls from citizens with questions about their taxes. One of the bills passed this week suspends bonuses to IRS employees until the Department of the Treasury implements a customer service strategy.

Further, from 2010 to 2013 the IRS rehired more than 300 employees who had already been fired from the agency. Unsurprisingly, at least twenty percent of the rehires presented new conduct and performance issues. In response, the House passed legislation prohibiting the IRS from rehiring employees who had been previously fired – a policy any organization should already have in place.

Finally, those who are delinquent on their taxes shouldn’t be in charge of collecting other people’s taxes. One of the bills passed this week requires the IRS to certify its employees are not seriously behind on tax payments.

This week, the Obama administration announced its opposition to all of the House bills.

Donovan concluded, “Anybody who looks at the policies we passed this week should agree that they’re common sense proposals. I hope the Senate acts and sends these bills to the President’s desk.”

Donovan voted to support each of the following bills:

  • H.R. 4890: To ban bonus payments at the IRS until the Secretary of Treasury implements a comprehensive customer service strategy;
  • H.R. 1206, No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act: To require the IRS to certify that its employees are not seriously delinquent on their taxes before hiring new agents;
  • H.R. 3724, Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act: To prohibit the IRS from rehiring anybody who was previously fired for misconduct;
  • H.R. 4903: To prohibit the use of funds by the IRS to target American citizens for exercising their First Amendments rights;
  • H.R. 4885, IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act: To prohibit the IRS from spending the service fees it collects without first obtaining Congressional approval.

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