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Congress keeps giving new powers to IRS

Congress continues to work on a highway bill, desperately scrambling to pass something extending the highway programs before they expire on Friday. Today,the House of Representatives filed another temporary extension bill, while the Senate is preparing to vote on its own bill tomorrow.

The new House bill does not reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (yea!) nor does it give  the IRS authority to revoke America's passports (yea!).

However, like the Senate bill,the new House bill does contains a provision requiring taxpayers claiming the mortgage interest deduction to provide the IRS with "the origination date of the mortgage, the amount of outstanding principal at the end of a calendar year, and the property’s address."

Making taxpayers provide the IRS this information is supposed to make it easier for the IRS to identify those improperly claiming the mortgage interest deduction. Some might say that it is proper to give the IRS the information necessary to enforce the law.

However, supporters of limited goverment and individual liberty should have concerns with this proposal. First, Congress should be cutting spending instead of giving the IRS new powers to squeeze even more revenue from the American people. Secondly, and most importantly, given the IRS's' s history of using its power to abuse our liberties, is  it really a good idea to allow this agency to have any more of our personal information?

(hat/tip: The Institute for Policy Innovation).

 


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