|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
FRIDAY, MAY 12, 1998
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) is asking the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee to include a Traficant-authored provision to limit the seizure authority of the Internal Revenue Service in the IRS reform bill pending before Congress. In a letter sent today to U.S. Rep. Bill Archer (R–TX), Traficant noted that the effort to reform the IRS would fall short if it did not include a change in the way the IRS seizes property.
Traficant's seizure provision, which he introduced as a separate bill earlier this year, requires the IRS to get judicial consent prior to seizing any taxpayer property, mandates that the IRS provide a 15-day notice before seizing property, and allows taxpayers to exclude from their gross income calculation any damages they are awarded in a federal court proceeding related to IRS misconduct.
The Senate recently approved sweeping IRS reform legislation.
The House approved a similar measure last fall. The House and Senate
bills did not include Traficant's seizure provision. House and Senate
conferees will be meeting this month to hammer out a compromise.
The House and Senate bills did include a major Traficant-sponsored provision
to shift the burden of proof in civil tax cases from a taxpayer to the
IRS. Traficant has been working for 13 years to affect this important
change in federal tax law.
"I was appalled by the stories of the behavior of IRS agents at the recent Senate hearings," noted Traficant in his letter to Archer. "Witnesses recounted tales of agents of descending on the homes of innocent taxpayers and seizing property – many times without cause. If my seizure reform language were added to the reform bill, we could stop this type of reprehensible behavior."
A number of Traficant-authored IRS reform initiatives have been enacted into law in recent years. These include a mandatory taxpayer sensitivity training program for IRS agents, a provision to make it easier for taxpayers to sue the IRS for willful misconduct, and increasing the penalty for IRS agent misconduct from $100,000 to $1 million.2009