Friday, April 17, 2015
Billy Long: I'm working to stop IRS abuse
It was a busy week as I and my colleagues worked to stop IRS abuse and modify portions of the tax code, including a repeal of the estate tax, also known as the “death tax”.
I have long-supported getting rid of the death tax to relieve taxation on a lifetime of hard work. Americans that have carefully planned to leave the family farm, small business or life savings with their children and grandchildren should not have to worry about the federal government robbing up to 40 percent of what is handed down. Doing well for our future generations is a classic American idea the government should have never trampled on in the first place. I gladly voted to lay the death tax to rest and hope the Senate will follow suit.
Recently, the IRS has further degraded trust from the American people. The House passed bills this week to address the agency’s scandal surrounding political targeting of non-profits and the lack of agency accountability. The legislation would give IRS authority to fire employees engaging in political targeting, prevent IRS from using personal email for official business, grant groups denied non-profit status a chance to appeal and request status of investigations involving personal information. We also passed a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” to ensure taxpayers fair treatment and high quality IRS service.
On another successful note, the Senate passed the House bill to end Medicare’s flawed Sustainable Growth Rate, known as the “doc fix,” and the president signed it into law. No longer will Medicare doctors face uncertainty with automatic Medicare reimbursement reductions. This will improve quality of health care and service for seniors. I am optimistic this paves the way for more serious conversations on reforming Medicare and similar programs in the future.