Press Releases

Press Releases

House Passes Issa Taxpayer Protection Bill

Press Release
Mar 14, 2018
Issa’s Bill Ensures Taxpayers Have Their Day in Court Against the IRS

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass legislation he wrote to protect taxpayers in court against the IRS.
His bill -- the Protecting Access to Courts for Taxpayers Act (H.R. 3996) – ensures taxpayers do not automatically lose their cases against the IRS, or miss tax courts’ strict filing deadlines, in the event they were to accidentally file their suit in the wrong venue. It would allow judges, who are hamstrung under current law, to move these cases to the right court, as judges can ordinarily do with other cases.
“Taxpayers who make a simple clerical mistake in filing their cases shouldn’t lose their ability to have their day in court,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “Yet current law gives our judges no ability to move these cases to the correct court, as they can with almost any other matter. Given tax courts’ tight filing deadlines, accidentally filing in the wrong venue can be detrimental to the outcome in their cases. This is a simple update, but one that will go a long way to helping taxpayers better obtain justice.”
For most cases that do not involve the IRS, if it is accidentally filed in the wrong court, the initial judge will simply transfer the case to the correct venue at no penalty, financial or otherwise, to the litigant. Due to an omission in current law, there is no existing authority for a federal district court judge to transfer a case to the Tax Court. As a result, district court judges currently have no choice but to dismiss incorrectly filed cases and therefore require the citizen to refile the case at additional expense.

Most importantly, however, filing deadlines to dispute IRS actions are often as short as 30 to 90 days. So if a case is incorrectly filed, it often becomes virtually impossible for the error to be discovered and allow the taxpayer the time to refile in the appropriate court before the deadline has passed. Giving judges the ability to simply transfer these cases as they can with other courts to tax court would alleviate this problem.

Text of the legislation is available here

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