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Dems push IRS on 'innocent spouse' protection

According to the group of House Democrats, spearheaded by Reps. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Jim McDermottJames (Jim) Adelbert McDermottSondland has 'no intention of resigning,' associate says Three women accuse Gordon Sondland of sexual misconduct Portland hotel chain founded by Trump ambassador says boycott is attack on employees MORE (D-Wash.), around 50,000 innocent spouse claims are filed with the IRS each year, and the current policy disproportionately affects women. 

In their letter, the 49 lawmakers — including all the Democrats who sit on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee — also told Doug Shulman, the IRS commissioner, that his agency had “violated the spirit of the original law” in cutting off the ability to file for protection after two years. 

For their part, the three Democratic senators — Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE of Montana, the chairman of the Finance Committee; Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers A pandemic election should move America to address caregivers' struggles The Memo: Trump attacks on Harris risk backfiring MORE of Iowa; and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE of Ohio — sounded a similar note in their message to Shulman.

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“We are concerned this two-year limitation denies relief to the very taxpayers the law was designed to help — the innocent spouses unaware of these IRS collection activities because of intimidation or deception by their spouse,” Baucus said in a statement. “We must re-evaluate these limits so all taxpayers are treated justly and have time to file for tax relief they deserve.”

Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, has also called for the two-year limit to be extended.

In their letter, the Senate Democrats asked the IRS to re-evaluate the two-year rule, while the House Democrats asked Shulman to withdraw it.