House Passes MBA-Supported IRS Tax Bill

Mike Sorohan

June 11, 2019

The House yesterday passed a Mortgage Bankers Association-supported bill that would substantially revamp the Internal Revenue Service's approach to third-party income verifications.

H.R. 3151, the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (, passed the House by voicevote. Introduced by Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Mike Kelly, R-PA., represents the first major legislative reform to the IRS in nearly two decades. A substantially similar iteration of the bill passed the House in April by voice vote; this version eliminated a provision that would have codified the IRS "Free File" program after objections from some lawmakers.

At the 30,000-foot level, H.R. 3151 provides necessary reforms for the IRS to restructure the agency, improve customer service and increase taxpayer protections. Specific to MBA member interests, the bill includes language to automate the third-party income verification process.

Ahead of the vote, MBA sent a letter in support of the bill. MBA Senior Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Bill Killmer said automating third-party income verification benefits taxpayers and lenders.

"Validation of income is a critical component of sound residential mortgage underwriting and lending, and automation will greatly enhance the customer experience by reducing the time needed for lenders to determine how to most suitably serve their clients," Killmer said.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it appears to have bipartisan support as well.

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