Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2 Is Now Law

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2 Is Now Law

Article excerpt

President Clinton signed into law a bill that will provide administrative relief to taxpayers who must deal with the Internal Revenue Service. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2 (HR 2337), heralded as a victory for taxpayers, was widely supported by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. It contains over three dozen pro-taxpayer provisions and is the culmination of an effort that began with the enactment of the original Taxpayer Bill of Rights in 1988 (see "House Passes Taxpayer Rights Legislation, But Many Provisions Are Already in Practice," JofA, June 96, page 31).

"This is great news for taxpayers," said Patrick G. Heck, senior manager of Ernst & Young in Washington, D.C. Heck said that it was very difficult for taxpayers who found themselves under examination to get the IRS to listen to their claims and take the appropriate corrective action. "Many of the provisions in the new law give the IRS the power to fix mistakes it recognized it had made," said Heck.

A friend inside the IRS

The new law replaces the position of taxpayer ombudsman with the new, high-level position of taxpayer advocate. The taxpayer advocate has the authority to take affirmative action, such as issuing taxpayer assistance orders, on behalf of taxpayers who are facing significant hardship. The advocate must report annually to Congress the problems taxpayers encounter as well as recommendations for improvements in the tax system. …

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