Among the very impactful actions the IRS sometimes takes against individuals is seizing their assets. There are a variety of situations in which a person could be facing an IRS asset seizure.
An important thing to know when facing the potential of an IRS seizure is that there are rules and limits the government is subject to when it comes to such actions. So, when issues related to IRS asset seizures come up for a person, they may want a tax lawyer’s guidance on what rights they have related to the seizure, what options they have if they feel their rights have been violated and what they can do to try to protect their interests in response to the seizure and the issues underlying it.
Some additional rules and limits may soon be added to one particular class of IRS seizures. These are seizures of assets suspected of being involved in “structuring.” Structuring is when a person or business purposefully tailors their transactions to avoid the reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act.
The IRS’s past practices regarding seizures related to suspected structuring have been accused by some of being unfair.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that regards such seizures.
The bill would put limits on when the IRS could engage in structuring-related seizures, Specifically, it would make it so the IRS could only do such a seizure if it suspects one of the following two things in connection to the suspected structuring:
- That the structuring was used to hide a violation of a non-structuring-related criminal law or regulation.
- That the assets involved derived from an illegal source.
The bill would also make some changes in the procedures the IRS has to go through in relation to structuring-related seizures.
One wonders how the bill will fare in the next steps of the legislative process and if it will one day become law.
Do you think more restrictions and limits should be put on the IRS when it comes to asset seizures, such as structuring-related seizures?
Source: Accounting Today, “House passes bill to curb IRS asset seizures,” Michael Cohn, Sept. 6, 2017