Congressman Mike Bishop has introduced legislation to update technology and processes within the Internal Revenue Service to better protect taxpayer identity and information.

Bishop says that currently, the IRS maintains information technology systems that date back to the early 1960s. The Rochester Hills Republican says, “Americans deserve an IRS that is operating with up-to-date IT infrastructure to proactively combat identity theft, tax refund fraud, readily assist taxpayers when they are targeted and be held accountable when they fail.”

According to a release from Bishop’s office, the Taxpayer ID Protection and Fraud Prevention Act would increase the amount of refund payments the IRS makes electronically – meaning taxpayers would receive their refunds quicker, cheaper, and more securely. It would also create a digital history for law enforcement in the case of fraud. It would also require the IRS to track “improper payments” by subcategories including fraud, underpayment, overpayment and mistaken identity not attributable to fraud and also implement measures that give the IRS more time and information to verify taxpayer identity, and match it with the person claiming a refund – before sending the refund payment. Finally, the bill would codify a Public-Private Partnership between the IRS, the tech industry, States and professional tax-preparers to monitor and address cyber threats in real time.

The bill was referred to the House Ways & Means Committee, of which Bishop is a member. (JK)