Skip to comments.Reining In the IRS: The House Plan takes dead aim at the IRSís persistent abuse of its authority
Posted on 02/26/2014 6:34:16 AM PST by SeekAndFind
A comprehensive tax-reform plan House Republicans will unveil this morning takes dead aim at what Republicans perceive to be the IRSs persistent abuse of its authority. According to Republican aides familiar with the plan, it will curb the power of the nations tax-collecting agency, something Republicans have attempted to do since the agency admitted to improperly singling out conservative non-profit groups last May.
The legislation, authored by Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.), introduces reforms that directly address the circumstances that led to last years scandal. The specter of Lois Lerner looms large in the minds of many Republicans, and the plan mandates the termination of any IRS employee found to have taken official action for political purposes. The 1988 bill that restructured and reformed the IRS spells out ten actions for which the IRS commissioner must terminate an agency employee after an administrative or judicial determination that the employee has committed the prohibited action among them, providing a false statement under oath on a matter involving a taxpayer and violating the rights of a taxpayer. Todays bill would add the commission of politically motivated acts to the list.
The plan would also require the IRS to modify its interpretation of a critical provision of the Internal Revenue Code that has been used to protect the privacy of those accused of leaking confidential taxpayer records and to deny information to the victims of IRS abuse.
Under the proposed reforms, the provision, Internal Revenue Code section 6103, would require the government to disclose to victims both the status of an investigation as well as its result, including the identity of the perpetrator.
As currently interpreted, section 6103 prohibits congressional committees or inspectors general from identifying a government employee who has leaked confidential taxpayer information. It even prohibits inspectors general from confirming or denying whether they have conducted an investigation. Disclosing tax returns to the public is a felony, but the results of investigations conducted by congressional committees or inspectors general are considered the confidential tax information of the perpetrator and so, in an ironic twist, perpetrators are currently protected by the very law they violated.
As Republicans, including Camp, have investigated the IRS targeting scandal, they have run head first into the restrictive nature of the 6103 provisions. The law, intended to protect taxpayers, is being used as a shield for those who perpetrate this wrongdoing, Camp told National Review Online in October.
The National Organization for Marriage, a conservative organization that had its donor list leaked by the IRS, has filed suit against the agency after it was unable to get answers from the government. Camps Ways and Means Committee, which investigated the leak, was prohibited from releasing the findings of its investigation, which concluded in October. In court, according to NOMs attorneys, the IRS has admitted to disclosing the document but maintains that the disclosure was inadvertent. The case is in discovery phase and a trial is expected in April or May.
Camp and his Republican colleagues are also tackling the IRSs proposed regulations for social-welfare groups, which have rankled groups on both the left and the right. The plan proposes to delay the rules, which would curb the political activity of 501(c)(4) groups, for one year. Camp has proposed a bill in the House that does just that, and Senate Republicans have done the same, but the bills have yet to come up for a vote.
501(c)(4) groups must promote social welfare and, by law, cant primarily engage in political activity. The rules proposed by the agency in November, which have garnered over 70,000 (mostly critical) public comments, would classify such activities as voter-registration drives and the production of voter guides as political activity that does not count toward an organizations primary purpose, essentially limiting the amount of political activity groups can engage in. Camp has charged that the rules were reverse engineered by the IRS in an attempt to codify the targeting of tea-party groups that it was previously performing behind the scenes.
The proposed rules have ignited a firestorm on the right, and, on the left, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Service Employees International Union have spoken out against them. even as Democratic senators urge the agency to codify them in advance of the midterm elections.
The forthcoming legislation would also introduce an additional layer of oversight onto the IRS, directing the Government Accountability Office to review each of the agencys operating divisions in order to determine that they are properly screening cases. The GAO would conduct follow-up reviews every four years.
Eliana Johnson is media editor of National Review Online.
Consumption tax only = neutered IRS.
Cantor and the rest of Boehner’s stooges are rolling out these campaign season going nowhere House bills. Not impressed.
Consumption tax only = neutered IRS.
Camp has been totally useless on the IRS scandal. Seemingly by design. He won’t be neutering anything tax related.
This Obama socialist/democrat must be impeached and must resign now for this
where is the conservative media covering this IRS scandal or calling for Obama’s resignation.Rush,savage, Hannity, Levin etc. are nowhere but they have 3 hours a day to REPETEADLY talk about the IRS abuses against Americans. the conservative media just covers what the evil liberal news media sets as the headlines.
Unless they impeach the SOB they are just pissing into the wind. No one goes to jail, no one is held accountable. Anything less than that they are just jerking our chains.
While I’m not on board at all with the libertarian “get rid of the IRS” crazy, income tax is used not so much to raise revenue but to control and scare and manipulate. It’s a bigger, scarier version of seat belt laws, etc, that are primarily used for probable cause to stop someone for other reasons. It’s like those TV shows you see where the cops use the fake “tail light is out” to pull the perp over.
Someone mentioned “consumption tax = neutered IRS”. While it’s a bit more involved than that, that is pretty much a bingo.
I perceive that the sun rises in the east.
Obama must resign and must be impeached
Obama ordered IRS to rig the 2012 election and must resign
don’t believe it(obama) didn’ know
Abolish the IRS
and then the EPA and so on
NASA is doing global warming studies . so get rid of that too
government is the problem and Obama is a criminal
Little Timmy Geithner was in charge of the Treasury Department when these plans to suppress the Tea party were put in place. Something about “... rotting from the head ... “
1) Veto bait
2) Never see the light of day in Harry Reid’s Senate
3) Any “plan” that doesn’t start with Lois Lerner going to jail is doomed to failure.
The tax cheat Treasury boss...
You can’t make this stuff up.
Outlaw civil service unions, they're are the real power behind government, politicians are just stooges.
Never happen. The GOPe has just as much vested interest in government power as the Dem’s.
About dang time.
They love this sort of stuff. They know it won't be enacted so they have no responsibility. But they get to pose as righteous defenders of the people...before 'coptering off to Andrews for golf with Barry.
How many of the GESTAPO SCUMBAGS AND THEIR ENABLERS are in prison?
$ocialism Is Legal Plunder (Bastiat). The IRS is the gestapo of the U.S.A. - United Socialists of America.
The GOPe wanted to get the preemptive surrenders over quick on the important stuff so we could get months and months of do nothing Capitol Hill debate club antics.
The saddest part is even if the GOP takes the Senate they will be pulling the same stunts next year. The Dims will never agree to cloture on these kinds of bills. The GOP will be in the same tactical position with no bills getting out of Congress. This gridlock seems to be by design to avoid engagement with the kenyan.
The GOPe has proven they are unwilling to engage the kenyan and govern in a conservative manner. Conservatives should proceed accordingly.