For over 50 years, Bloomberg Tax’s renowned flagship daily news service, Daily Tax Report® has helped leading practitioners and policymakers stay on the cutting edge of taxation and...
By Kaustuv Basu
July 7 — A bipartisan measure that would require the IRS to show probable cause of illegality before seizing assets passed by voice vote in the House Ways and Means Committee.
The bill (H.R. 5523), sponsored by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), would require the Internal Revenue Service to find 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 to bypass reporting requirements.
Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said at the markup July 7 that the IRS had frozen bank accounts of small-business owners simply because of transactions that looked suspicious. “Mr. Roskam’s bipartisan legislation puts in place important safeguards to help ensure the IRS’s civil asset forfeiture authority cannot be used to wrongfully seize the assets of honest taxpayers,” he said.
The bill would also require the IRS to give notice of civil forfeiture within 30 days of seizing assets, in most cases. If the recipient asks for a court hearing within 30 days, the IRS must return the property unless the court finds probable cause of illegal activity. The measure excludes interest on wrongly seized funds from income tax if a court finds that the agency must return the funds and any accrued interest.
Committee ranking member Sander Levin (D-Mich.) said at the markup that the bill would codify current policy at the IRS.
The IRS and the Department of Justice stopped pursuing the seizure and forfeiture of “legal source” activity funds in 2014. But forfeited funds from previous cases weren't automatically returned.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a letter released June 14 that the agency would notify 700 taxpayers that they could petition to get refunds on money seized from them between October 2009 to October 2014 (115 DTR G-6, 6/15/16).
Roskam said it was “good news” that the IRS had changed its policy. “Let’s change the underlying statute so this never happens again,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kaustuv Basu in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Ferguson at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)