Summary: S.955 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.955. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (04/10/1979)

Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act - Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to prepare, for distribution to taxpayers, brief but comprehensive pamphlets which set forth in nontechnical terms: (1) the rights and obligations of taxpayers during an audit; (2) the procedures which the Internal Revenue Service may use in enforcing revenue laws; and (3) the procedures by which a taxpayer may appeal adverse decisions, prosecute refund claims, and file taxpayer complaints. Requires a copy of such pamphlet to accompany the first communication from the Service to any taxpayer regarding tax liability.

Establishes within the Internal Revenue Service an Office of Taxpayer Services, directed by an Assistant Commissioner of Internal Revenue, whose primary responsibilities shall include: (1) assisting taxpayers with information about tax returns, audits corrections, appeals procedures, and payment or document location; and (2) receiving and evaluating complaints of improper, abusive, or inefficient service by Internal Revenue Service personnel.

Authorizes the Assistant Commissioner for Taxpayer Services to issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order prohibiting the Secretary, for up to 60 days after such issuance, from taking any assessment, collection, or other action adverse to a taxpayer if the Assistant Commissioner determines that such taxpayer is suffering from an unusual, unnecessary, or irreparable loss as a result of such action.

Prescribes criminal penalties for: (1) any investigation by employees of the United States in connection with Federal tax laws which inquires into the beliefs, associations, or activities of any individual which are not directly related to such tax laws; or (2) the maintenance of any records containing information derived from such an investigation.

Creates a civil cause of action for any taxpayer aggrieved by a prohibited investigation, or by the deprivation of any civil rights.

Permits the award of a judgment of costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, to a prevailing taxpayer in any proceeding before the Tax Court.

Requires the Internal Revenue Service, upon a taxpayer's request, to conduct any interview regarding a deficiency assessment in the taxpayer's residence or place of business, at a reasonable time convenient to the taxpayer. Requires the officer or employee conducting such interview to warn the taxpayer that: (1) he has a right to remain silent; (2) any statement he makes may be used against him; and (3) he has the right to the presence of an attorney.

Exempts certain income producing property from levy for nonpayment of taxes.

Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to establish, and to report annually to Congress on, a program to provide for a continuing audit and investigation of the efficiency, uniformity, and equity of the administration of the internal revenue laws of the United States.