Bloomberg Tax
May 10, 2022, 8:45 AM

IRS ‘Harsh’ Penalty Power Grows, Shutting Taxpayers Out of Court

Aysha Bagchi
Aysha Bagchi

The government’s once-niche power to levy tax penalties that courts say they can’t review until fully paid has exploded, prompting calls for Congress to address a growing barrier-to-justice issue.

All taxpayers “should generally have an opportunity to take their cases to court,” IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins wrote in her 2022 legislative recommendations to Congress. “Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay what the IRS says they owe should have the same opportunities to choose a judicial forum as wealthier taxpayers who can afford to pay.”

Collins is among those calling for the repeal of the so-called “Flora ...

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