Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, April 18, the House of Representatives passed the Taxpayer First Act, a legislative package which strengthens transparency and accountability at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and improves taxpayer services. The bill includes a provision proposed by Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) and Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) originally introduced as the Preserving Taxpayers' Rights Act. Rep. Sewell voted for the underlying bill when it passed the House in a bipartisan vote.

“This legislation is a chance for us to strengthen the relationship many taxpayers have with the IRS,” said Rep. Sewell. “Tax season is a stressful time for millions of Americans, and the compliance burden on the average American and small business owner is unnecessarily difficult. Today, Congress took important steps to make the tax filing experience more sensible, fairer, and more efficient. The bill we passed today includes a bipartisan provision which I drafted with Rep. Jason Smith that improves efficiency and customer service at the IRS and gives taxpayers a chance to resolve disputes with the IRS without being forced to litigate in court. While our fight for a friendlier, more efficient tax system is not over, today’s vote is a victory for all taxpayers.”

The Preserving Taxpayers' Rights Act, which was included in the underlying legislation that passed the House today, contains provisions which 1) maintain taxpayers’ legal right to have cases heard by the IRS Office of Appeals; 2) further define which IRS cases can be designated for litigation; 3) further define when tax liability assessments can be levied; and 4) eliminate the use of outside law firms for federal tax audits.


Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.