Turner to Introduce Taxpayer Nondiscrimination and Protection Act
Makes IRS Discrimination a Felony, Legislation Follows Revelation of IRS Targeting Organizations Based on their Political Beliefs
Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10), today will introduce the Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act of 2013. The bill would amend Title 18 of the U.S. Code to make it a crime for an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee to discriminate against an individual or group on the basis of their protected rights. In addition, it expressly clarifies that political speech and political expression are protected rights.
“Americans of all political beliefs have been rightly outraged by the revelation of the IRS’ efforts to target certain political organizations. The fact that this could occur with little to no corrective action against those who seek to silence their fellow citizens is unacceptable. That’s why I’m taking immediate action and introducing this bill,” said Turner
Currently, IRS employees who discriminate against taxpayers may be subject to termination. However that is at the discretion of their supervisors. Turner's bill would increase the maximum penalty to a $5,000 fine, 5 years in prison, or both - which is the same maximum penalty for a member of the president's cabinet who directs an employee to take that sort of action.
“Americans should not have to wonder if their government is actively looking to subvert them or their political views. We live in a nation where respect for differing beliefs and a vibrant political discourse play an important role in shaping our government. This is about protecting the rights of all Americans, and their ability to freely express their political thoughts,” added Turner.
NOTE: A copy of the legislation is available here.