Senate Finance Committee chairm Chuck Grassley and ranking member Max Baucus called for an independent investigation of the Internal Revenue Service's Offer in Compromise program by the Government Accountability Office.

The move follows a Sept. 2 letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow in which the senators questioned the IRS and Treasury's implementation and administration of the OIC program --  specifically the apparent failure to use the Effective Tax Administration provision enacted as part of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.  That provision was enacted to address offers made where collection would impose an economic hardship on the taxpayer due to illness or lack of financial resources.

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