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house Bill H.R. 1843

Blocking the IRS From Using Civil Forfeiture to Seize Assets Unless There’s Probable Cause of a Crime

Argument in favor

The IRS has abused its civil asset forfeiture authority and taken money from people who have done nothing wrong. It should only be able to use civil asset forfeiture related to criminal behavior, not just deposit structuring violations.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
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09/05/2017
Once upon a time in this country it was innocent until proven guilty. Now, especially with asset forfeiture, it is just the opposite. I'm so ashamed to see what this country has turned into one right at a time.
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Rob's Opinion
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09/05/2017
Absolutely! And the same standard for all civil asset forfeiture! No conviction, no forfeiture!
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Deirdre 's Opinion
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09/05/2017
They should only be able to seize assets if there is a crime.
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Argument opposed

The IRS should be able to take assets from people it suspects of structuring financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements.

Mary's Opinion
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09/05/2017
Being charged with s crime is not the same as being convicted of a crime. You could be found innocent and have no assets left; or worse, have no assets to hire a decent attorney b/c everything has already been seized.
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Palorrin's Opinion
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09/05/2017
A victim of unjust civil asset forfeiture can already fight it in the courts. What this does is prevent the IRS from laying claim immediately to assets of the most wealthy when they dodge their tax responsibilities. Without asset forfeiture the IRS must first successfully win a court case while the defendant can move and hide their assets or even tie up the court for decades with injunctions and motions. This is another way for the top 1 or .1% to keep cheating the system.
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Stacy's Opinion
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09/06/2017
This only works in favor of those who hide tax money. In order to seize assets the IRS would first have to win a court case, it doesn't make sense. They should seize assets of those trying to hide or else they will have the funds to run or move assets to hide elsewhere.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1843?

This bill would place limits on the ability of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to use civil asset forfeiture to seize a person’s assets unless they’ve been charged with a crime. It would narrow the IRS’s authority so that property could only be seized if it was derived from an illegal source or the funds were structured to conceal the violation of a law or regulation other than structuring transactions to evade Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements. Additionally, a process would be established that the IRS has to comply with when it seizes property.

WIthin 30 days of seizing property, the IRS would be required to make a good faith effort to find all owners of the property and notify them of post-seizure hearing rights. The IRS can apply to a court for one 30-day extension if there’s probable cause of an imminent threat to national security or personal safety.

If the property owner requests a court hearing within 30 days of receiving notice, the property must be returned unless the court holds a hearing within 30 days of providing notice and finds probable cause that the property was derived or illegally or conceal a violation of a law other than a structuring violation.

Any interest received from the federal government related to the recovery of property seized by the IRS related to a claimed violation of BSA structuring provisions would be excluded from gross income for tax purposes.

Impact

Those the IRS suspects of structuring violations; and the IRS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1843

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill reduce revenues by about $1 million over the 2018-2027 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) introduced this bill to limit the IRS’s ability to use civil asset forfeiture on people without charging them with a crime:

“It’s clear to everyone involved that there was rampant abuse in the forfeiture program. 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. With the support of so many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, we can finally put this ugly chapter to rest.”

Lead cosponsor Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) added:

“Civil asset forfeiture may have begun as a tool to combat criminal activity, but it has morphed into a complex process that unfairly entangles innocent individuals. There is no question that the laws are deeply flawed and the process was riddled with abuse. I am proud to work with Congressman Roskam on this legislation.”

This legislation has the support of 14 cosponsors in the House, including 13 Republicans and one Democrat. Its predecessor passed the House on a 415-0 vote during the last Congress but wasn’t considered in the Senate.


Of NoteThe Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to report transactions involving $10,000 or more. The IRS has used civil asset forfeiture to take assets from individuals and business owners suspected, not convicted, of structuring transactions to avoid those requirements in about 700 cases between October 2009 and June 2016. Structuring transactions can lead to criminal and civil penalties.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: pglam / iStock)

AKA

Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act

Official Title

To amend title 31, United States Code, to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from carrying out seizures relating to a structuring transaction unless the property to be seized derived from an illegal source or the funds were structured for the purpose of concealing the violation of another criminal law or regulation, to require notice and a post-seizure hearing for such seizures, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
  • The house Passed September 5th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMarch 30th, 2017

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    Once upon a time in this country it was innocent until proven guilty. Now, especially with asset forfeiture, it is just the opposite. I'm so ashamed to see what this country has turned into one right at a time.
    Like (136)
    Follow
    Share
    Being charged with s crime is not the same as being convicted of a crime. You could be found innocent and have no assets left; or worse, have no assets to hire a decent attorney b/c everything has already been seized.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely! And the same standard for all civil asset forfeiture! No conviction, no forfeiture!
    Like (85)
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    They should only be able to seize assets if there is a crime.
    Like (59)
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    The government is not supposed to seize property without due process. How is this even an issue? This is clearly specified in the 4th amendment to the constitution. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
    Like (54)
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    The Constitution protects us from unreasonable searches and SEIZURES. How do we determine if it is reasonable? Probable cause—the reasonable suspicion that a crime has or is occurring. Let a judge look at the evidence and sign a warrant.
    Like (32)
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    Civil Asset Forfeiture has been and continues to be subject to massive abuse and corruption.
    Like (22)
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    This whole business of punishment without a conviction needs to end.
    Like (20)
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    An in-depth review of all civil forfeiture uses is needed, and greater judicial controls should be implemented in all cases. Misuse is widespread, and contrary to Constitutional principles to say nothing of judicial principles pre-dating Magna Carta.
    Like (18)
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    Civil forfeiture should be unconstitutional. If someone obtains wealth illegally, then, of course, they should not be allowed to keep it, but this should be handled as part of the criminal conviction, not a separate trial where standard constitutional rights are tossed aside.
    Like (13)
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    No brainer! It is a violation of the fourth amendment !
    Like (12)
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    They should only be able to seize assets if there is a crime proven.
    Like (12)
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    A victim of unjust civil asset forfeiture can already fight it in the courts. What this does is prevent the IRS from laying claim immediately to assets of the most wealthy when they dodge their tax responsibilities. Without asset forfeiture the IRS must first successfully win a court case while the defendant can move and hide their assets or even tie up the court for decades with injunctions and motions. This is another way for the top 1 or .1% to keep cheating the system.
    Like (11)
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    Again, why is this even a question? Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
    Like (9)
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    Yes, but let's define Structuring Financial Transactions, to avoid screening or paying taxes, as criminal behavior that it is. Therefore, the corrupt and unethical criminals can be removed from society, at least temporarily, but hopefully long enough that their criminal operations, business entities or other, may become defunct or required to clean up their unethical business practices.
    Like (9)
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    Having assets seized without a conviction makes no sense.
    Like (8)
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    I'm proud that a Republican and Democrat penned this bill. Hopefully it's a start to mend this country.
    Like (7)
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    Uh yeah holy crap
    Like (6)
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    Only if there is a crime
    Like (5)
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    Innocent until proven guilty. No exceptions. The IRS has been abusing this loophole and we all know it. Many cases have been brought to light. I'd like to see the tax code simplified so that the IRS simply collects taxes. No form 1040 should be needed in any tax reform.
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