Skip to Content

News Home

Foxx Votes to Make IRS More Accountable to Taxpayers

“Another Tax Day has come and gone, and millions of Americans have been reminded of how confusing, complex and unfair the U.S. tax code is for hardworking families and small businesses”

WASHINGTON – Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., today praised the passage of several pieces of legislation in the House that will make the IRS more accountable to hardworking American taxpayers.

“Another Tax Day has come and gone, and millions of Americans have been reminded of how confusing, complex and unfair the U.S. tax code is for hardworking families and small businesses. The legislation passed by the House this week will hold IRS employees accountable for their actions and increase congressional oversight of the IRS,” said Foxx. “However, we need a total rewrite of the tax code, and I will continue advocating for comprehensive tax reform that ensures a smaller, simpler income tax burden for all American families.”

The IRS collects user fees for a variety of programs and services, and under current law, the IRS has authority to allocate money from its user-fee account as the agency sees fit. In fiscal year 2015, the IRS deliberately diverted resources away from taxpayer services and towards other agency functions, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act. H.R. 4885, the IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending Act of 2016, ensures that every dollar the IRS collects from filing fees and other user assessments is subject to congressional approval before it is spent.

In 2015, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that the IRS repeatedly rehires former employees who had well-documented conduct or performance issues. These issues include failure to file taxes, accessing taxpayer information without authorization and abuse of IRS leave and property policies. H.R. 3724, the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2016, prohibits the IRS from rehiring an employee who has been fired for certain forms of misconduct.

The inspector general also reported that only 39 percent of the 1,580 IRS employees found to be willfully noncompliant with tax laws between 2004 and 2013 were terminated, resigned or retired. This is despite current law which requires the IRS to terminate an employee who willfully fails to file a federal tax return or willfully understates federal tax liability. H.R. 1206, the No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act, suspends the hiring of new IRS employees unless the Treasury Secretary certifies that no IRS employees have serious tax delinquencies with respect to their own tax obligations. 

In fiscal year 2015, the Government Accountability Office reported that only 38 percent of callers wanting to speak to an IRS representative were able to reach one, the agency’s lowest level in years. The GAO recommended that the IRS create a comprehensive customer service strategy to determine appropriate levels of service. H.R. 4890, the IRS Bonuses Tied to Measurable Metrics Act, requires the IRS to complete a customer service strategy before paying out any more employee bonuses.


U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx represents North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and is the elected Republican Conference Secretary. Dr. Foxx is the chair of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and serves as Vice Chair of the House Rules Committee.

Connect with Me

Back to top