ASK THE EDD LAWYER – WHAT ACTION IS CONGRESS TAKING TO STOP THE IRS FROM GETTING TOO PERSONAL?
By Robert S. Schriebman
It is all over the newspapers and the internet. Congress is angry at the IRS for getting too intrusive into taxpayer’s political beliefs and other personal issues. High ranking IRS officials are refusing to testify and are hiding behind the Fifth Amendment. This is the first time since the late 1990s that Congress has held hearings on IRS misconduct. I was a key witness in those 1990 IRS hearings, and I worked closely with the late Senator William V. Roth, Jr. (famous for the Roth IRA).Through our joint efforts Congress enacted legislation establishing due process for taxpayers who owe the IRS. This legislation became known as Collection Due Process and today both the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court are very busy handling Collection Due Process matters. I will always be proud of my role in providing the American taxpayer with due process when it comes to collecting and paying every kind of federal tax.
I am also proud to say that I assisted both Senator Roth and his co-author William H. Nixon in the writing of the Senator’s book dealing with IRS taxpayer abuse titled The Power To Destroy published by the Atlantic Monthly Press.
Today, Congress is very concerned about new patterns of misbehavior on the part of the IRS. Congress is concerned not only with protection of political affiliations but is also seeking to protect taxpayers from the IRS snooping into taxpayers’ religious and social beliefs.
On February 26, 2014, Senate Bill S2043 was introduced. The bill is designed to prohibit the IRS from asking taxpayers questions regarding religious, political, or social beliefs. The purpose of the bill is to prohibit the IRS from snooping into these matters. The title of the bill is Stop IRS Overreach Act. Here are the key provisions of S2043:
- The Internal revenue Service shall not ask any taxpayer any question regarding religious, political, or social beliefs.
- Any exceptions, provided by later enacted provisions of law, should identify the specific questions which are authorized, the class of taxpayers to which such questions are authorized to be asked, and the circumstances under which such questions are authorized to be asked.
- If the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service determines that asking any class of taxpayers a prohibited question that would aid in the efficient administration of the tax laws, the IRS Commissioner should submit a report to Congress which:
- includes such questions in the verbatim form in which it s to be asked,
- describes the class of taxpayers to whom the question is to be asked, and
- describes the circumstances that would be required to exist before the question would be asked.
An EDD lawyer, Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States.
As a trusted EDD attorney, Robert S. Schriebman has successfully dedicated more than 30 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments.
Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, “IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners” published by Commerce Clearing House and the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See “California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures” and “California Taxation Practice and Procedure”, both published by Commerce Clearing House.