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House Approves US Taxpayer Protection Act

by Leroy Baker,, New York

19 April 2007

House approval of the US Taxpayer Protection Act of 2007 is the latest achievement by Congress to help ensure that American taxpayers get an effective and efficient government at the most affordable cost, according to Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat and House Speaker.

“As Americans pay our taxes this week, we deserve a government that reflects our priorities for the future, but also respects the value of taxpayer dollars,” announced Pelosi. “From taxpayer protections, to “pay-as-you-go” spending discipline, to reforms in government contracting, Democrats are restoring accountability and fiscal responsibility to Washington."

The Taxpayer Protection Act of 2007, H.R. 1677, which passed by a vote of 407 to 7, includes measures to: require IRS investigations to provide notification of possible citizen identity theft; simplify business tax filing for spouses in a family-owned business; provide more protections for citizens who have had wrongful IRS levies; increase penalties on those impersonating the IRS on the internet; and allow the IRS to post unclaimed tax refunds on the internet.

The legislation was introduced by Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-GA).

“This bill improves and increases IRS outreach to provide taxpayers with stronger protections against tax fraud and identity theft” observed Lewis after the bill passed through the House Ways and Means Committee last month.

“It is a shame and a crime to use schemes to steal personal information from American taxpayers, so this legislation cracks down on misleading websites and subjects them to a higher penalty for any violations," he added.

According to Pelosi, the Democratic budget, passed last month in the House, also promotes permanent protection for middle-income taxpayers, as part of ongoing House action to keep the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) from hitting American families.

The AMT was created in 1969 to respond to the fact that 155 of the wealthiest families in America were avoiding paying any federal taxes by using loopholes, deductions, and exclusions.

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