Newhouse proposes bill to establish minimum competency standards for IRS employees

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) wants to change the fact that tax preparers currently have no obligation to receive tax education, training or competency requirements to prepare taxes, leaving Americans who rely on these services at risk. 

“The IRS is not working for the American people,” Rep. Newhouse said. “It is time that the IRS works for us again.”

The congressman on March 31 sponsored the System Transparency and Accountability for the IRS Act, H.R. 7341, to establish minimum competency standards for employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and move the taxpayer bill of rights to the very front of the tax code, according to the text of the bill.

“Before this year’s tax season even began, the IRS still had millions of unprocessed returns, mainly due to input errors,” said Rep. Newhouse. “In central Washington alone, I have received numerous calls from concerned constituents who are unable to communicate with the IRS on their own, and receive threatening, misleading letters from the agency even after their cases were supposedly resolved. 

“This is no way to run an organization, and American taxpayers deserve better,” he said. “This legislation will require tax preparers to have the proper training and qualifications to fulfill their role on behalf of the American people — an important step in reducing this unnecessary and enormous backlog.” 

According to his staff, Rep. Newhouse currently has more than 70 open cases with the IRS on behalf of his central Washington constituents.

H.R. 7341 has been referred to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee for consideration.