The Honorable Kevin Brady
Committee on Ways and Means
United States House of Representatives
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Brady:
On behalf of National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to endorse the improved “Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act” and the “Taxpayer First Act” package, introduced as an amendment to H.R. 88. This tax and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reform legislation prioritizes free-market tax policies, would provide real cost savings and relief to consumers, and would strengthen protections for taxpayers. The package is full of timely, commonsense reforms that Congress should quickly address.
First among them are costly, market distorting taxes imposed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Further delaying the job-killing medical device excise tax, the so-called “Cadillac” tax on certain high-end health insurance policies, and the health insurance tax would all reduce costs for consumers. Similarly, it is smart to repeal the indoor tanning tax. This was included in ACA as an arbitrary pay-for without considering the consequences. The tanning tax has profoundly hurt small businesses, and with them, a significant population of consumers who rely on indoor tanning for legitimate health purposes.
Your plan would also make a number of essential technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Importantly, it fixes a drafting error that limited cost recovery for a Qualified Improvement Property (QIP). TCJA intended to simplify and consolidate several provisions pertaining to the cost recovery of improvements made to a building’s interior. Due to a drafting error, it actually prolonged the recovery period. The bill would codify TCJA’s intent to assign QIP with a quicker, 15-year cost recovery period and 100 percent bonus depreciation.
Finally, Division B would address many long-standing IRS issues. NTU supports creating a new Independent Office of Appeals, clarifying taxpayers’ right to appeal, bolstering protections against wrongful IRS asset seizure, improving services and protections for moderate-income taxpayers, prohibiting the use of non-government employees in witness examinations, improving customer services, making permanent the Free File Alliance program, and requiring the IRS to develop a comprehensive restructuring plan. These reforms, particularly if paired with key provisions in the Senate’s S. 3278, the “Protecting Taxpayers Act,” would strengthen the rights of taxpayers and enhance tax administration.
Congress should take advantage of the bipartisan nature of these reforms to quickly pass this legislation. Any delay would continue to leave taxpayers vulnerable to increased costs and IRS mismanagement.
Director of Federal Affairs