Roskam introduces bipartisan bill to prevent unfair IRS seizure of assets under structured cash deposit accusations

Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) on Thursday would codify IRS policy changes about seizing assets from small business owners based on accusations that they had “structured” cash deposits.

Structured cash deposits are those made in a specific pattern that is calculated to avoid the creation of certain records and reports required by law.

The IRS agreed last week to comply with repeated calls from Roskam, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the subcommittee’s ranking member, to resolve civil asset forfeiture cases related to accusations of structured cash deposits by small business owners and farmers.

In a letter to subcommittee leaders, the IRS announced that it had worked with the Department of Justice to implement a new review process to bring justice to taxpayers whose assets may have been unfairly seized.

“I’m glad to see the IRS finally recognize the need to return the money they stole from innocent Americans,” Roskam said. “It took two years, two hearings and letters from every Republican and Democratic Member of the Oversight Subcommittee, but we can now see justice on the horizon. I’m encouraged by this latest development and look forward to continuing our oversight work to make sure the Justice Department also follows through on its pledge to deliver justice to the victims of civil asset forfeiture abuse.”

The Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act, which was introduced by Roskam and U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), would codify the internal policy changes outlined by the IRS in its letter to prevent unfair asset seizures from happening again.

The bill is named after small business owners who unfairly had their assets seized by the IRS for allegedly structuring cash deposits.

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