I have a piece up in Forbes today which talks about plans the U.S. House of Representatives has this week to pass two bills which, combined, form a kind of "Taxpayer Bill of Rights." You can read the full article here. Below is an excerpt:
What these bills have in common is that they guarantee for taxpayers basic rights most Americans would say should be automatically expected. The IRS is a potentially-dangerous arm of federal power. It’s important that the natural accretion of bureaucratic leverage native to agencies like the IRS be checked with strong protections for ordinary, everyday taxpayers.
These two bills together can accurately be called a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” because they mirror what’s protected in the actual Bill of Rights. The First Amendment to the Constitution protects freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The Sixth Amendment grants all Americans the right to a speedy trial. Those themes are evident in both bills.
The House’s actions this week are a reminder to the IRS that they are subject to the same restraints on government power that the Founding Fathers imposed on the rest of the federal leviathan.