Finance

Bipartisan bill aims to prevent IRS from unfairly seizing assets

A bipartisan pair of House tax-writers introduced a bill on Thursday to protect small-business owners’ assets from being unfairly seized by the Internal Revenue Service.

The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), would codify policy changes that the IRS made in October 2014 about when it seizes funds in cases where it suspects cash deposits were “structured” under $10,000 to avoid bank reporting requirements.

The IRS previously would seize the funds of small-business owners in suspected structuring cases even when the funds did not come from illegal sources. But in 2014, the IRS announced that it would only seize assets when the property came from illegal sources. The bill would cement the IRS’ current policy.

Roskam said in a statement Thursday that he was proud to introduce the bill to make sure the IRS never unfairly seizes small-business owners’ funds again.

There are still taxpayers whose funds were seized under the old policy who have not gotten their money back. Roskam, Crowley and other members of the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee have pressed the IRS and the Department of Justice to return the funds in multiple hearings and letters.

In a recent letter, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that the agency was notifying taxpayers who had their assets seized that they may be able to get their property back through remission or mitigation.

 

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