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In April, the House passed a bill (HR 2337) designed to provide taxpayers administrative relief when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. Last year, Congress added similar legislation to the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1995, which ultimately was vetoed by President Clinton. The provisions of the new House bill, Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2, were included in substantially the same form in the balanced budget bill passed by the House last year, and are supported by the administration.
But many of the provisions in HR 2337 already are in practice. The IRS announced in January a series of new taxpayer rights initiatives after the Revenue Reconciliation Act was vetoed. According to the Treasury, the administration wanted to ensure the bipartisan momentum that led to the taxpayer bill of rights would not be lost. The IRS also added new regulatory and guidance projects that are not part of the House bill.
So why does Congress want to pass legislation that is already in …