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Taxpayers’ Procedural Rights Can Clash with Aggressive Tax Enforcement

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Title: Taxpayers’ Procedural Rights Can Clash with Aggressive Tax Enforcement
Author: Phelan, Marilyn E.
Abstract: This article discusses issues relating to taxpayer’s rights. A concern with the tremendous and ever-increasing federal budget deficit may lend continuing support for the Treasury Department’s current more aggressive tax enforcement policy. This could swing the pendulum back to having the IRS revert to the giant enforcement authority, with little sensitivity to taxpayers’ rights, as it once was perceived to be. This article discusses legislation and mechanisms that have been developed to protect taxpayers’ procedural due process rights. In concludes that many of the procedural appeal routes summarized in the article were expanded by the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights 3, but Congress has wavered in the past 20 years as it attempts to balance the need for aggressive tax enforcement measures against the need to protect taxpayers’ rights. With a widening tax gap and a significant and ever-growing federal deficit, Congress as well as the Treasury now perceives a need for renewed aggressive enforcement policies. Unfortunately, the current emphasis on collection of the tax, and the limited judicial review available when courts continue to use an abuse of discretion standard to review IRS determinations, could relegate the numerous taxpayer procedural rights outlined in this article to substantial delay tactics that afford little concrete relief.
Related Resources: Click to follow Westlaw link
Date: 2009

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