Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced the Committee will mark up an original bipartisan bill to curb identity theft and tax refund fraud on Wednesday, September 16, in Room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 10:00 a.m.
“Protecting the private information of taxpayers at the Internal Revenue Service should be of highest importance to the agency and Congress,” Hatch said. “Unfortunately, as we learned this year, highly valuable information housed at the agency is susceptible to cybercriminals. Since this threat will not end, Congress should take appropriate bipartisan action to implement needed legislative policies that will better protect taxpayers and shield taxpayer dollars from thieves. With this markup, I’m hopeful the Committee will take the first step to advance reforms that will enhance the controls used to access private taxpayer information at the IRS and improve the overall security of the refund process.”
“The wave of organized crime targeting taxpayers and their hard-earned money is seemingly relentless, and there’s a lot of work to be done making sure that our laws, agencies and taxpayers themselves are able to fight back,” Wyden said. “This bipartisan legislation is a big first step toward cracking down on scam artists and cybercriminals who prey on taxpayers. This bill will ramp up penalties for tax ID theft, help root out the bad actors who pose as law-abiding return preparers, and vastly improve the security of taxpayer information. I’m confident this is legislation that the Finance Committee can get behind on a bipartisan basis, and I look forward to continuing to find ways to protect taxpayers from identity theft and fraud.”
The bill includes a number of provisions that were a part of Hatch and Wyden’s Tax Refund Theft Prevention Act of 2014, as well as additional measures from Committee members.