Taxpayer Bill of Rights  

Press Release #105-305

Roth Applauds Appointment of
William Webster to Head IRS's CID Review

Urges Task Force to Consider Transferring
Some CID Responsibilities to Justice or DEA

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth today applauded the appointment of William Webster to head the Internal Revenue Service's review of the Criminal Investigations Division. Roth's statement follows:

"Mr. Webster is a good choice to head this review. Commissioner Rossotti should be complimented for his quick response to this issue. Our investigation has showed that the Criminal Investigations Division of the IRS has some very serious problems.

"I urge this task force to look at whether some of the responsibilities of the IRS's Criminal Investigations Division should be transferred to the Justice Department or the Drug Enforcement Agency. Responsibilities such as those involving hard core criminal cases might be better off handled by an agency that is more experienced with these types of matters.

"The Senate Finance Committee today heard testimony that a big part of the problem with the IRS CID is that intrusive and oppressive law-enforcement techniques used on violent and dangerous criminals are being used in routine criminal tax investigations of taxpayers who are neither dangerous nor violent. We also heard testimony that just fifteen years ago, the techniques used for criminal tax enforcement were totally different. On Wednesday, the committee will hear more about the CID -- from taxpayers who have been victimized by the division's unnecessarily heavy handed enforcement.

"Shifting heavy duty law enforcement over to agencies that are experienced with violent criminal behavior would go a long way toward taking fear out of dealing with the IRS for many taxpayers."

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