Legislative Update - Discussion draft of tax administration reform, technical corrections proposals (Senate Finance staff) 

November 20:  Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus today released a staff “discussion draft” containing proposals to simplify the administration of the tax system and to address tax fraud.

Yesterday, an international tax reform discussion draft was released. Tomorrow, the Finance Committee plans to release proposals to reform cost recovery and accounting.

Today's package of reforms includes a number of provisions aimed at modernizing tax administration and at reducing compliance burdens, tax-related identity theft, and the tax gap.

According to a one-page summary [PDF 198 KB], the tax filing-related reforms would:

  • Improve the information return filing process by (1) not requiring taxpayers to file corrected information returns if the error is less than $25; and (2) requiring returns generated by a computer but filed on paper to contain a scannable code, for more efficient uploading of return information by the IRS
  • Expand electronic filing by gradually reducing the number of returns that trigger an electronic filing requirement over a three-year period from 250 returns per year to 25
  • Repeal over 100 “deadwood provisions” and address a number of tax code provisions that need technical corrections

Other measures would address tax-related identify theft and other tax fraud prevention, and other provisions would aim to reduce the tax gap by requiring banks and insurance companies to report the existence of certain bank accounts and the sale of life insurance contracts, respectively.

Comments on the tax administration discussion draft are requested by January 17, 2014.


Documents posted on the Finance Committee website include:

Other documents available on the Finance website include:

  • A Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) technical description of the proposals
  • A JCT list of technical corrections
  • A Finance staff list of “deadwood” provisions

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