WASHINGTON — The storm engulfing the Internal Revenue Service could provide a boost for lawmakers who want to simplify U.S. tax laws — a code that is so complicated most Americans buy commercial software to help them or simply hire someone else to do it all.

Members of Congress from both political parties say the current uproar — over the targeting of conservative political groups — underscores that overly complex tax provisions have given the IRS too much discretion in interpreting and enforcing the law.

"This is the perfect example of why we need tax reform," said Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. "If you want to diminish and limit the power of the IRS, you have got to reduce the complexity of the tax code and take them out of it."

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