Press Releases

Press Releases

Rep. Issa Bill To Protect Taxpayers Passes Committee

Press Release
Oct 12, 2017

The House Judiciary Committee also today approved legislation introduced by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) to protect taxpayers rights by allowing judges to transfer cases against the IRS to the correct court when a case is accidentally filed in the wrong court by mistake.

The bill -- the Protecting Access to Courts for Taxpayers Act (H.R.3996) -- ensures taxpayers do not lose their cases or miss strict filing deadlines in tax cases by default just because they accidentally filed their suit in the wrong venue. It would allow judges to move their case to the right court, as judges can with other cases.

Taxpayers need access to justice.  The current gap in taxpayer protections is inexplicable, leaving judges with no ability to transfer cases to the appropriate court of jurisdiction like judges have authority to do in almost every other type of case," said Congressman Darrell Issa. "Given tax court’s strict filing deadlines, which often are as short as 30 days, inadvertently filing in the wrong court can be detrimental to those seeking remedy since its virtually impossible for the error to be discovered in time for a taxpayer to refile in the correct venue. This is a small, but nevertheless important update that will patch this hole in our legal system to better help Americans seek 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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