Washington (June 23, 2003) -- The House has approved a bill to improve efficiency at the Internal Revenue Service, paving the way for legislation that would ease the burden for many taxpayers.

The Taxpayer Protection and IRS Accountability Bill of 2003 would reform penalty and interest provisions, giving a first-time penalty waiver to individual taxpayers in certain cases, according to CCH Tax news. It would also let taxpayers pay installments on their tax liabilities for less than the full amount they owe, and allow e-filers until April 30 to file returns.

"It goes without saying that our tax code is far too complicated for anyone to understand and often turns honest hard-working taxpayers into "violators" of unforgiving IRS rules and regulations," said Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the bill's sponsor."This bill strengthens and protects the rights of taxpayers by bringing common sense and accountability to the IRS."

Among other provisions are reforms to more closely guard taxpayer confidentiality and an increase in funding for low-income taxpayer clinics.

-- WebCPA staff

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