House Passes Taxpayer Assistance Bill

 Courtesy of NAEA –

On Wednesday, April 14, 2010,  the House passed by on overwhelming majority (399-9) HR 4994 (The Taxpayer Assistance Act of 2010), which was sponsored by Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-GA). The bill includes several items of note to enrolled agents and, specifically it:

  • Removes cell phones from §280(f) listed property
  • Eliminates the § 7122 OIC partial payment requirement
  • Increases authorized grants to low income tax clinics
  • Authorizes IRS to use any means of mass communication to notify taxpayers of unclaimed refunds

The bill calls for a number of studies to be conducted by the National Taxpayer Advocate, including one focused on “the feasibility of delivering tax refunds on debit cards, prepaid cards, and other electronic means to assist individuals that do not have access to financial accounts or institutions.”

On the revenue offset (aka pay-for) side: expanding the bad check fee to any commercially accepted means of payment.

So what’s the prognosis for the bill? E@lert’s take is that the Senate will either take it up right away and pass it by unanimous consent or, more likely, refer it to the Senate Finance Committee where some or all of the provisions may emerge in a stand-alone bill or as part of a more expansive tax bill. Knowing Congress, however, there is also the distinct possibility that the bill goes nowhere.

[Note: As of April 23, 2010 – HR 4994 Latest Major Action: 4/15/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.  ]

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