The Last Tax Day Under an Old, Unfair Code

April 20, 2018
 

Congressional App Challenge Winner in D.C.

Last Friday I has the pleasure of meeting Ayush Goyal, the winner of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge for GA-6.

Ayush is a Roswell resident and student at Wheeler High School.  He created an app with the goal of encouraging volunteering in local communities. “VolunteerNow” provides a simple and efficient way for users to find volunteer opportunities in neighborhoods near them.  Ayush even gave me a first-hand demonstration of the app.

To learn more about the VolunteerNow app, watch the demonstration video by clicking this link.

 

Much Needed Reform at the IRS

Tuesday was Tax Day. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it was the very last time Americans will file under the old, unfair tax code.  This time next year, in addition to most Americans paying less in taxes, taxpayers will find a process that is more efficient and less complex.

Even so, Tax Day will still come in April 2019, and people across the country will turn to the IRS for help and for answers about their taxes.  The IRS still must focus on putting its customers - American taxpayers - first.

That's why, this week, the House passed some of the most significant reforms to the IRS in 20 years.

H.R. 5444, the Taxpayer First Act, will help modernize the IRS for the first time since 1998 by updating services that protect taxpayers from identify theft.  Additionally, the 21st Century IRS Actprovides the IRS with up-to-date IT infrastructure to proactively combat identity theft and tax refund fraud. 

IT infrastructure at the IRS has been rated among the worst in the federal government by the GAO.  These reforms are long overdue, but I am proud the House is following through on its efforts to modernize the IRS and protect taxpayers from identity theft. 

Improving customer service at the IRS was also the motivation behind the bipartisan bill I introduced with Rep. Tom O’Halleran of Arizona last week.  It passed the House on Tuesday.

Watch my floor speech from Tuesday by clicking this graphic.

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Last Tax Day Under an Old, Unfair Code

Through roughly 305 IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country, millions of Americans receive free personal tax assistance each year.  All too often, however, these centers are closed with little or no notice, leaving taxpayers to generally fend for themselves.

H.R. 5440 requires the IRS to provide adequate public notice about any proposed closure of a Taxpayer Assistance Center, helping to ensure impacted taxpayers will still have access to assistance with tax filing issues.

H.R. 5440 will hold the IRS accountable for putting its customers - the taxpayers - first.


Prioritizing CTE, Workforce Readiness

On Wednesday morning I met with the Technical College System of Georgia.  We held a productive conversation on workforce readiness and the importance of strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE). 

Preparing Americans of all ages to contribute to the workforce remains a priority of mine as a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee.

Last year, the Committee passed a bipartisan bill, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.  H.R. 2353 puts America on the path to closing the skills gap and opens the door for more innovation in workforce development with the help of institutions across our communities.  As Committee Chairman Virginia Fox said, "All education is career education."    

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this note.  To stay current on what's going on in Congress, please follow me at Facebook.com/RepKarenHandel.  And if you find this update helpful, please take a second to forward it along to a few of your friends and neighbors.

As always, feel free to call 202-225-4501 or 770-998-0049 if you need assistance from me or anyone in my office.

Sincerely,
 
Karen C. Handel
Member of Congress