By JOSEPH LAWLER
The House voted unanimously Thursday evening to limit the IRS from seizing small business’ bank accounts, bipartisan legislation meant to protect business owners from civil asset forfeiture laws.
The bill, authored by Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois, would require the agency to demonstrate probable cause before seizing businesses’ bank accounts. It also would guarantee businesses a quick hearing for people to appeal seizures.
The bill found support on both sides of the aisle. Civil asset forfeiture reform has been a priority for free-market groups.
Earlier this year, after the House Ways and Means Committee’s work, the IRS returned $150,000 that it had taken from North Carolina convenience store owner Khalid “Ken” Quran in 2014, according to the libertarian Institute for Justice. Quran’s account was seized because of what the IRS thought were suspicious transactions, but he wasn’t accused of anything.
From 2006 to 2013, the IRS kept $123 million from 1,745 cases, according to the Institute for Justice.