Scott, Brown Reintroduce RESPECT Act to Prevent the IRS’s Abuse of its Civil Forfeiture Authority

WASHINGTON—Today, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement upon the reintroduction of their Restraining Excessive Seizure of Property through Exploitation of Civil Asset Forfeiture Tools (RESPECT) Act. 

“The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is one of the many parts of our government that has grown too large and needs to be reined in,” said Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). “In no way should the IRS be allowed to seize Americans’ property without first being able to prove its necessity. Time and time again, we see that the IRS has gone above and beyond its purview destroying homeowners, small businesses and their employees. This change needs to happen now.”

“Plain and simple, the IRS can’t take your property if you haven’t done anything wrong – it’s one of the most basic protections in our constitution,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “This bill preserves the IRS’ ability to go after criminals, while also protecting law-abiding business owners from having their property illegally seized, and making sure those who are found innocent can get their property back without having to jump through hoops.”

Without having to meet a burden of proof, the IRS can currently seize the property of Americans through legal means. The RESPECT Act ensures that the IRS explicitly demonstrates probable cause prior to seizing these assets. It generates more transparent avenues for business owners and individuals to defend themselves against any wrongdoing, and enables them to retrieve their property back from the IRS.