In a huge win for taxpayers last month, lawmakers dealt a blow to the IRS and their ability to rob business owners of their hard earned money.

Through a unanimous voice vote, members of the House passed Rep. Peter Roskam’s (R-IL) Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT (Restraining Excessive Seizure of Property through the Exploitation of Civil Asset Forfeiture Tools) Act.

Named after small business owners who were subject to IRS abuses totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, the RESPECT Act works to curb the IRS’ power under structuring laws that permit them to target Americans for withdrawing or depositing cash amounts under a $10,000 threshold. While this number is quite arbitrary, it is a potent instrument that gives the IRS the power to raid the bank accounts of innocent Americans.

The aforementioned structuring laws are a byproduct of Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements that, while good-intentioned in the hopes of fighting money laundering, give unprecedented power to the IRS if they suspect you of trying to evade their watchful eye.

This cruel practice has been further exacerbated by civil asset forfeiture laws that allow the IRS to do this to anyone without ever filing a criminal charge, circumventing due process.

One study shows that between FY 2005 and FY 2012, the IRS was able to seize $242 million in taxpayer assets through structuring laws alone.

Cases like these are much more common than one would think. Terry Dehko, the owner of a family run grocery store in Michigan woke up one morning in 2013 to see over $35,000 missing from the store’s bank account. Who were the culprits you may ask? Why the IRS of course, who seized their assets and accused Terry and his family of money laundering for simply making bank deposits under $10,000. Unfortunately, far too many Americans find themselves facing the same mistreatment as the Dehko’s did.

After the House vote, Rep. Roskam noted in a press release, “It’s clear to everyone involved that the IRS and DOJ abused their authority and took money from people who did nothing wrong. With today’s legislation, we’re making sure they can never do it again”.

While the bill is a monumental step forward in finally putting an end to rampant IRS cruelty under structuring laws, the bill has yet to become law, and it is now upon the Senate to take the final steps to ensure that cases like the Dehko’s are a thing of the past.

To that end, similar legislation such as the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and this may be that final step forward.

In this move to stop the IRS from looting taxpayers, Americans for Tax Reform applauds Rep. Roskam and his colleagues for working to end abusive practices against American taxpayers.