Time: Thu Oct 23 09:05:58 1997
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Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 09:04:31 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: IRS Reform Bill Passes U.S. House Committee (fwd)
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>Thursday October 23 6:48 AM EDT 
>IRS Reform Bill Passes U.S. House Committee
>By Tabassum Zakaria 
>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Legislation aimed at turning the Internal Revenue
>Service into a more taxpayer-friendly and accountable agency passed the
>House tax-writing committee with broad bipartisan support Wednesday. 
>The House Ways and Means Committee approved the IRS reform bill 33-4, with
>10 Democrats voting for the legislation and four against it. 
>Support for the legislation snowballed this week as the Clinton
>administration's resistance melted and top House Democrats, including their
>leader Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, emerged in support of the bill. 
>The legislation would create a new oversight board largely comprised of
>private-sector experts appointed by the president to keep an eye on the
>tax-collection agency.  
>It would also shift the burden of proof in civil tax court cases to the IRS
>to prove taxpayer wrongdoing, rather than the taxpayer having to prove
>innocence. And the legislation included a list of new taxpayer rights. 
>House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer predicted an
>"overwhelming" vote for the bill when it reaches the House floor before
>Congress adjourns for the year. 
>"One thing you can be sure of, it will be on the floor and it will pass,"
>the Texas Republican said.  
>IRS reform became a hot-button issue on Capitol Hill following emotionally
>charged Senate hearings where taxpayers tearfully testified about trying for
>years to get their cases resolved only to find themselves facing one wall
>after another at the agency. 
>The legislation was based on an earlier bipartisan bill that followed the
>findings of a national commission which looked at restructuring the IRS. 
>"We would sign this bill as currently drafted," Treasury Secretary Robert
>Rubin said on NBC's Today Show. "On the other hand, we think there are areas
>that should be changed," he added. 
>The Senate is expected to wait until next year to act on IRS reform,
>although Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott did not completely rule out
>movement this year. 
>"Now that the president's signed on board and the Democrats see this train
>coming down the tracks, maybe we could get it done," the Mississippi
>Republican said. 
>But Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Roth of Delaware said it
>remained his intention to work on IRS reform legislation next year. 
>"In the Senate, the Finance Committee will begin holding hearings on
>restructuring and reforming the IRS next week," Roth said in a statement.
>"When the Congress returns, we will continue hearings, and act on our own
>reform and restructuring legislation in the spring," he added. 
>Roth's committee Thursday will consider President Clinton's nominee for IRS
>commissioner, Charles Rossotti. 
>The House IRS bill would cost $2.65 billion over five years, of which $795
>million was due to shifting the burden of proof onto the IRS in civil tax
>court cases. 
>About 85 percent of the lost revenues to the government from the burden of
>proof provision was due to an expectation that settlements in those cases
>would tilt slightly more in favor of the taxpayer, Ken Kies, chief of staff
>of the Joint Committee on Taxation, said. 
>The other 15 percent of that cost was due to a "very modest" effect on
>non-compliance, Kies said under questioning from Democrats who sought to
>make the point that the provision could help people who do not pay the money
>they owe the government. 
>The new taxpayer rights would allow suing the IRS for up to $100,000 for
>damages due to negligence of IRS employees in collection actions and make it
>easier to recover legal fees and costs incurred in disputes with the IRS. 
>The bill included an "innocent spouse" provision to prevent one spouse from
>being liable for additional taxes owed on a joint return due to the actions
>of the other spouse. ^REUTERS@ 
>Copyright  1997 Reuters Limited.

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
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