Fifth District Virginians have been preparing for the April 15th tax filing deadline for the past several weeks, which is a burdensome annual reminder of just how complex and outdated our current tax code is. Families and small businesses spend billions of hours each year dealing with this most excessive example of bureaucratic red tape only to hand over their hard-earned dollars to a federal government that continues to make the process more difficult and unfair than it needs to be.
Americans make a good faith effort to comply with our complicated tax code, but recent reports indicate that they have not received the assistance they may need when filing taxes. These reports exposed that the IRS is only answering four in 10 customer service calls, leaving many pressing tax questions unanswered. This unsettling news comes at a time when thousands have questions about the mandates and reporting requirements imposed by the President’s healthcare law - questions made even more complex because more than 800,000 Americans who signed up for the federal healthcare exchange received the wrong forms. Tax season is stressful enough; the last thing hardworking Americans need is inept service from the agencies responsible for these important matters.
Many Fifth District Virginians also remain troubled by the reports of IRS officials targeting groups based on political affiliation, which is totally unacceptable given the agency’s authority. I was very disappointed to learn that the Justice Department will not seek the criminal contempt charges authorized by the House of Representatives against former Director of Exempt Organizations of the IRS Lois Lerner for her refusal to answer questions during a congressional hearing about the allegations. The American people deserve answers as to why certain groups were targeted for their political beliefs, and they have understandably lost trust in the IRS’s ability to fairly administer our laws.
I share the American people’s frustration that the IRS, whose purported mission is to, “provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all,” is not living up to that standard. The American people deserve better. My colleagues and I in the House of Representatives remain committed to reining in an out-of-control federal government that makes life more difficult for hardworking Americans.
This week, we will consider a number of bills to get the federal government out of the way and promote tax freedom and financial independence. We are continuing our work to overhaul our broken tax code and implement a simpler, fairer, and flatter tax code that will ensure that individuals and businesses have the certainty they need and that all Americans are keeping more of their hard-earned tax dollars. We will also consider bills to hold the IRS accountable and ensure fairness for all hardworking taxpayers, doing all we can to reform the IRS and make future April 15th’s are simpler and easier for all Americans.
If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.
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