Washington, D.C. –Congressman Mike Turner, a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, reintroduced The Taxpayer Nondiscrimination & Protection Act renewed his years-long push to make certain that America taxpayers are protected.
This legislation 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.
“This legislation takes action. No matter which party controls the White House, taxpayers deserve to be treated fairly. As Congress continues to investigate the IRS, we must also make certain that the proper corrective mechanisms are in place to protect American taxpayers from any act of wrongful discrimination by the federal government’s tax collectors,” said Turner.
Currently, IRS employees who discriminate against taxpayers may be subject to a maximum penalty of termination and then only at the discretion of their supervisors. Congressman Turner’s bill would make it a crime for an IRS employee to target an individual or group based on their beliefs. This legislation 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.
“When the IRS unfairly targeted individuals on the basis of their political beliefs, the IRS badly damaged the trust of the American public in its ability to act in a fair, nonpartisan, and nondiscriminatory manner. This legislation takes an important step to restore that weakened trust and strongly deter any future acts of discrimination,” said Turner.