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Copyright (c) 2011 Brooklyn Law Review
Brooklyn Law Review

NOTE: No More Excuses: A Case for the IRS's Full Compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act

Winter, 2011

Brooklyn Law Review

76 Brooklyn L. Rev. 837


Rimma Tsvasman+



The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the only federal agency in the United States that has the legal right to take your money first, and then defend its right to the appropriation later. 1 The power of the IRS is tremendous. However, it is also the agency whose laws are the hardest to challenge because of its countless, ever-changing rules, regulations, and pronouncements. 2 It is no wonder that the public has such disdain for the IRS. 3

This is unfortunate. The IRS serves the most fundamental role in America's democratic system of government--collection of revenue through taxation. 4 Without it, there would be no government. 5 Funds collected through taxation, for instance, are used to finance the various federal agencies of the executive branch and their projects. 6 Therefore, it is important for citizens to trust the IRS and cooperate in helping it execute this important role.

But how can the government accomplish this goal when people have disliked the IRS for so long? The answer is transparency and accountability--particularly through adherence to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). 7 The root of the problem appears to be the unbridled power of the IRS. 8 People fear and dislike the IRS because they feel powerless against it. In Cohen v. United States, 9 the majority even joked, "A fool and his money are soon parted. It takes creative tax laws for the rest," 10 and applied the quote to the IRS's "aggressive interpretation ...
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