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By Kaustuv Basu
July 6 — A bipartisan proposal to rein in IRS asset seizure powers will cost less than $500,000 over a 10-year period, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated.
According to the bill (H.R. 5523), the Internal Revenue Service would need probable cause that funds came from an illegal source or criminal activity before seizing assets because of structuring, or making bank deposits of less than $10,000 in order to bypass reporting requirements.
The bill, sponsored by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill) and Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), would also make the IRS give notice of civil forfeiture within 30 days of seizing assets, in most cases. If the notice recipient asks for a court hearing within 30 days, the IRS must return the property unless the court finds probable cause to believe illegality is involved. The measure excludes interest on wrongly seized funds from income tax if a court decides that the agency must return the funds and any accrued interest, the JCT said July 6 (JCX-63-16, JCX-64-16).
The legislation, which is to be marked up in the House Ways and Means Committee July 7, was introduced June 16 after the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight held a hearing on the issue.
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Texts of JCX-63-16 and JCX-64-16 are in TaxCore.
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