Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Votes to Protect Taxpayers from IRS Abuses

Mar 25, 2015
Press Release
Legislation makes political targeting a fireable offense

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a senior member of the House Ways & Means Committee, today voted for legislation that authorizes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to terminate any employee who targets individuals based on their political beliefs.  

The "Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act" (H.R. 709) was passed out of Committee and now heads to the House floor for a vote. 

"The IRS targeting of people because of their political beliefs is outrageous and unacceptable," Buchanan said.  "The freedom to criticize government without fear of retribution is what separates America from most of the world.  Today's bill sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of harassment and intimidation."

Congress enacted legislation in 1998 which included a list of "10 Deadly Sins" for which an IRS employee could be fired without having to go through the normal termination process.  The targeting of a taxpayer or group based on their political beliefs is not currently on that list.   

Buchanan also voted for the following reforms to make the IRS more transparent and accountable to American taxpayers:

  • Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 1058) -- guarantee that taxpayers working with the IRS have the right of appeal, the right to confidentiality, and the right to be assisted and informed. 
  • IRS Email Transparency Act (H.R. 1152) -- prohibits IRS employees from using a personal email account to conduct any official business
  • Fair Treatment for All Gifts Act (H.R. 1104) -- ensures fair and equal treatment for Americans who donate to most types of tax-exempt organizations. 

"We are never going to rebuild the prosperity that was once the envy of the world until we put an end to Washington overreach and abuse," Buchanan said.  "I will continue to fight against any government effort to diminish the constitutional rights