A Republican congressman has introduced a bill that would provide all U.S. taxpayers with immunity from IRS penalties and interest, but the main goal seems to be tweaking his Democratic colleagues.
The bill, introduced by John Carter, R-Texas, would institute a “Rangel Rule,” named after House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. Rangel, whose committee is responsible for writing tax legislation, has faced criticism for not reporting taxes on rental income for vacation property he owns in the Dominican Republic (see Rangel Picks Forensic Accounting Firm).
Carter (pictured) also took aim at the new Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, whose delay in paying taxes on income he earned from the International Monetary Fund held up his confirmation hearings last week (see Geithner Quizzed on TARP and Taxes).
Carter, a former longtime Texas judge, introduced the Rangel Rule Act of 2009, HR 735, which would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from charging penalties and interest on back taxes against U.S. citizens. Under the proposed law, any taxpayer who wrote “Rangel Rule” on their return when paying back taxes would be immune from penalties and interest.
“We must show the American people that Congress is following the same law, and the same legal process as we expect them to follow,” said Carter in a statement. “That has not been done in the ongoing case against Chairman Rangel, nor in the instance of our new Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner. If we don’t hold our highest elected officials to the same standards as regular working folks, we owe it to our constituents to change those standards so everyone is abiding by the same law. Americans believe in blind justice, which shows no favoritism to the wealthy or powerful.”
Carter also said the tax law change will provide good economic stimulus benefits, as it would free many taxpayers from massive debts to the IRS, restoring those funds to the free market to help create jobs.
Earlier this month, Carter wrote to Rangel asking him to either pay the IRS fees or co-sponsor the bill.
That’s not likely to happen. “This legislation is unnecessary,” Rangel spokesman Emil Milne told Fox News. “All taxpayers currently receive equal treatment under the law.”
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access