How Much Process is Due? I.R.C. Sections 6320 and 6330 Collection Due Process Hearings
58 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2011
Date Written: 2004
In 1997 and 1998, the Senate Finance Committee conducted widely publicized hearings on the operations of the Internal Revenue Service that included highly inflammatory testimony that demonstrated a clear many people’s clear dissatisfaction with the operations of the agency and pinpointed several areas of alleged systemic abuse. Out of these hearings came the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (“RRA 1998”).
RRA 1998 created the third Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which included several new taxpayer rights. Among the new rights established in RRA 1998 was the right to a “collection due process hearing,” prior to enforced collection through levy and immediately following the filing of a lien.
This Article examines the collection due hearing process and the interpretation of the collection due process (CDP) hearing provisions. Article proposes a model for conducting a CDP hearing that would help more efficiently address frivolous claims, while ensuring that that the IRS affording provides adequate hearing rights.
Despite concerns by critics of CDP specifically and RRA 1998 generally that these new rights are inefficient, these provisions were enacted to increase rights, not necessarily to promote efficiency. The RRA was not a law passed for efficiency, but for the protection of taxpayers. Moreover, ensuring taxpayers are afforded all rights provided by Congress in the RRA 1998, despite the fact that the process may be slowed may increase the perceived fairness of the taxpayers.
Unfortunately, many of the early CDP requests made and then subject to judicial review have been frivolous. Frivolous claims will only lead judges to be less willing to hear the legitimate claims. However, CDP rights have the potential to provide important rights and safeguards to taxpayers prior to collection. The approach for CDP hearings proposed in this Article would reduce the need for judicial review of as many CDP requests, improving the results overall.
Keywords: IRS, due process, administrative hearing
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