Taxpayer Bill of Rights  

IRS Restructuring Discussion Draft

Section 1. Restructuring & Establishment of an IRS Board

I. Restructuring and Establishment of an IRS Board

A. Statutory Language -Organizational Structure

1. Direct the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to restructure the IRS by eliminating the three-tier (nation/region/district) structure and replacing current geographically based organizational units with operating units serving particular groups of taxpayers with similar needs.

2. Direct the IRS to revise its mission statement to provide greater emphasis on serving the needs of taxpayers.

B. Establish an IRS Board

1. Generally follow the House bill which would create a Board to oversee the management and operations of the IRS. As in the House bill, the Board would be authorized to review and approve strategic plans, the Commissioner's plan for major reorganization, and the Commissioner's budget request, etc.

2. The Board would be composed of the Commissioner and 6 "private-life" experts in certain fields. The Commissioner will be the Chairman of the Board for the first two years. Subsequent chairmen will be elected by the Board for 2 year terms. The Board shall be part-time and have an independent staff.

3. The "private-life" experts will be subject to the same conflict-of-interest restrictions as other employees who provide limited services to the Government. In addition, the "private-life" experts will not be allowed to represent parties on any matter before the Board or the IRS during their term. Nor can the "private-life" experts represent any party on tax-related matters before the Treasury. As in the House bill, the "private-life" experts will be subject to (a) the public financial disclosure rules and (b) the 1-year post-employment restriction.

4. In addition to the responsibilities provided in the House bill, the Board must ensure that the IRS has proper procedures in effect to carry out its mission. The Board will have "big picture" authority over IRS law enforcement and collection activities. It will have limited 6103 authority with the ability to receive information (including unredacted reports) prepared by the Treasury Inspector General or made available by the Commissioner. The Board shall not intervene or be involved in particular taxpayer matters or individual personnel matters. Board members would be subject to the same "browsing" rules as other IRS employees.

5. If the Board identifies a potential problem, it may request the Inspector General to investigate and report. The Board may receive unredacted reports that may include 6103 information. The Board will review the Commissioner's policies to address issues. If the IRS fails to fix a problem identified by the Board, the Board shall consult the chairmen of the tax writing committees.

6. The Board shall provide the Secretary of Treasury with 3 candidates for the position of Taxpayer Advocate. The Taxpayer Advocate will report to the Commissioner and the Board.

7. The Treasury Inspector General shall report to the Secretary and to the Board as to IRS matters.

8. The Board will sunset on September 30, 2008.

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