Chairman Roskam Reintroduces Key Taxpayer Rights Bills
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) reintroduced a pair of key bills to protect taxpayer rights against intrusive IRS abuse. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (H.R. 1058) would ensure that taxpayers dealing with the IRS have the right to be informed and assisted, the right of appeal and the right to confidentiality, among others. The Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act (H.R. 1059) would prevent the IRS from inquiring on an individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.
“In the past month alone we learned that the IRS hired the contractor responsible for the disastrous rollout of Healthcare.gov and rehired over 300 employees who were previously fired for misconduct or performance issues, including some who had mishandled sensitive taxpayer information," said Chairman Roskam. "Stories like these continue to erode public trust in the federal government and the IRS in particular. This year we have an opportunity to chart a new path forward by enacting these critical bills to preserve the most fundamental rights of American citizens. No government agency, especially one that routinely intrudes on the lives of hardworking taxpayers, should ever be able to ask how you vote or to whom you pray. In light of our new majority in Congress, I am confident we can finally send these commonsense protections to the President’s desk.”
"I have long called for Congress to enact a principles-based Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and I applaud its introduction again this year," said National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. "A Taxpayer Bill of Rights would provide taxpayers with critical information to assist them in their dealings with the IRS, provide the IRS with foundational principles to guide employees in their dealings with taxpayers, and serve as a benchmark to help the IRS leadership and Congress monitor the extent of the agency's compliance with these rights. After a difficult period for the IRS, a Taxpayer Bill of Rights has the potential to restore taxpayers' trust in both the IRS and the tax system."
Both pieces of legislation passed the House unanimously in the 113th Congress. In June 2014, the IRS announced it would post the Taxpayer Bill of Rights online and at its facilities, though the legislation has yet to actually become law. This legislation would not just require posting the rights, but make them a core part of the IRS Commissioner’s primary responsibilities.