Summary: S.2239 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2239. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (02/20/1992)

Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2 - Title I: Taxpayers Advocate - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the Office of Taxpayer Advocate, headed by the Taxpayer Advocate, appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Requires the Office to: (1) assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the IRS; (2) identify areas in which taxpayers have problems in dealings with the IRS; (3) propose changes in the administrative practices of the IRS to mitigate such problems; and (4) identify potential legislative changes which may be appropriate to mitigate such problems. Requires the Taxpayer Advocate to annually report to specified congressional committees on Office activities.

Requires the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to establish procedures requiring a formal response to all recommendations submitted to the Commissioner by the Taxpayer Advocate.

Replaces the Office of the Ombudsman with the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate.

Revises the terms of a Taxpayer Assistance Order to: (1) assist a taxpayer suffering a hardship (currently, a significant hardship); (2) allow the Order to require the Secretary of the Treasury to act within a specified time period; and (3) require the Secretary to take certain actions (currently, only to cease or refrain from taking certain actions).

Title II: Modifications to Installment Agreement Provisions - Grants certain taxpayers the right to an installment agreement for the payment of tax liability less than $10,000.

Requires prior notification to taxpayers under an installment agreement to pay tax liability before altering, modifying, or terminating such an agreement. Provides for administrative review of denials of requests for installment agreements.

Suspends the failure to pay penalty during any period an installment agreement is in effect.

Title III: Interest - Requires the abatement of interest in the case of an assessment due to the unreasonable error or delay of an IRS act.

Extends from ten to 21 days the period for which interest will not be imposed after notice and demand for payment, if such payment is less than $100,000.

Increases the interest rate for overpayment of tax from two percent to three percent (making such rate equal to the interest rate for underpayment of tax).

Title IV: Joint Returns - Requires separate deficiency notices in the case of a joint income tax return if the most recent data available to the IRS shows that such spouses did not file a joint return with each other.

Allows the disclosure of collection activities to an individual requesting such information in the case of a joint return where such individual is no longer married to or resides in the same household as the other joint filer.

Removes limitation on filing a joint return after filing separate returns.

Provides that in the case of an examination of an individual with respect to a joint income tax return, the absent divorced or separated spouse cannot be represented by the individual without such acknowledgement in writing.

Title V: Collection Activities - Requires the Secretary to send notices of a proposed tax deficiency.

Authorizes the Secretary, in certain cases, to: (1) withdraw a notice of a lien; (2) return property that has been levied upon; and (3) offer compromises in civil or criminal cases. Requires the Secretary, at the request of the taxpayer, to make reasonable efforts to notify credit reporting agencies and financial institutions of such withdrawal notice.

Requires prior notification to the taxpayer that the taxpayer is under examination and an explanation of the process.

Removes certain limits on the standard of conduct and the dollar limit on the recovery of civil damages for unauthorized collection actions.

Revises provisions with respect to a designated summons concerning the standard of review, requirements for issuance, and quash proceedings.

Title VI: Information Returns - Requires payee statements to provide the phone number of the person providing payment.

Establishes civil damages for the fraudulent filing of information returns.

Requires the Secretary to make reasonable investigations to corroborate the accuracy of an information return when making a determination of a deficiency by a third party, when such return is disputed by the taxpayer.

Title VII: Modifications to Penalty for Failure to Collect and Pay Over Tax - Establishes requirements for preliminary notice and declaratory judgment proceedings for failure to pay tax.

Authorizes the Secretary to disclose certain information where more than one person is liable for a penalty.

Declares that a person shall not be liable for any penalty for failure to collect and pay over tax if such person: (1) is not a significant owner or highly compensated employee of the trade or business; (2) notifies the Secretary within ten days after such failure; and (3) such notification was before any notice by the Secretary with respect to such failure.

Directs the Secretary to ensure that IRS employees are aware of their responsibilities under the tax depository system, the circumstances under which they may be liable for penalties, and reporting responsibilities.

Exempts unpaid, volunteer board members of tax-exempt organizations from collection penalties.

Title VIII: Awarding of Costs and Certain Fees - Repeals the "substantially justified" test for determining whether a taxpayer may recover costs and fees incurred as part of an administrative or court proceeding. Denies such costs where the position of the United States is substantially justified.

Revises the commencement date of reasonable administrative costs.

Increases the limit on attorney fees.

Provides that any failure to agree to an extension of time for the assessment of any tax shall not be taken into account in determining whether a prevailing party has exhausted all administrative remedies.

Title IX: Other Provisions - Revises provisions on the required content of tax due, deficiency, and other notices.

Provides protection for noncorporate taxpayers who rely on certain guidance published by the IRS.

Requires any final, temporary, or proposed regulation issued by the Secretary to be applied prospectively from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Requires notice to the taxpayer of the inability to associate any payment with any outstanding tax liability.

Makes the costs of preparing certain tax returns fully deductible.