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CFO Patronis Releases Bill Text Incentivizing Small Businesses to Fight Back Against IRS

9/20/2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis released draft legislation that he will pursue for the upcoming legislative session to fund efforts to combat IRS overreach. The legislation would incentivize Florida small businesses to fight back against the IRS by making them financially whole if retaliation is proven. This legislation represents another pillar of the CFO’s Four Part “IRS Protection Plan to Fight Back Against a Shakedown Targeting Florida.”

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Washington just passed legislation to send 87,000 new IRS personnel to shake down the middle class and small businesses to fund their massive spending problem. Big businesses and corporations have armies of attorneys and accountants at their disposal, but small businesses rarely do. That makes you a target and this proposed legislation will help small businesses fight back if retaliation, in the form of targeting a taxpayer for his or her political affiliation, ideology, or beliefs, is proven. It’s simple, the IRS is coming for Florida small businesses because you were successful when other states shut their businesses down. As a former small business owner myself, I’m committed to protecting Floridians and ensuring you have the tools you need to fight back.”

The proposed legislation would create the “Internal Revenue Civil Liability Trust Fund” through the Department of Financial Services. The fund would be used to incentivize Floridians to fight back against the IRS by making them financially whole if retaliation, in the form of targeting a taxpayer for his or her political affiliation, ideology, or beliefs, is proven in a court of law.

Recently, the CFO announced he would work to pass legislation for the upcoming session to fight back against the IRS, which is expected to grow by 87,000 personnel through an $80 billion appropriation of taxpayer money from the Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed into law in August. This is the fourth release of draft legislation for the CFO’s Four Part Plan defending Florida from the IRS. Read more on the CFO’s IRS Protection Plan and daft legislation here: Pillar 1, Pillar 3, and Pillar 4.

PILLAR #2: FUND EFFORTS TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE IRS – Click Here to Read More

Proposal incentivizes Floridians to fight back against the IRS by making them financially whole if discrimination is proven. While large businesses and corporations have armies of attorneys and regulatory specialists, small businesses and organizations do not. Small businesses who have invested the bulk of their capital into employees and equipment are incentivized to settle with the IRS rather than fight back. This proposal would create a fund to incentivize Florida businesses to go to court and fight back against discrimination. Should a party go to court and prove IRS discrimination, the fund would be available to make the victim whole in the event the court does not.

DRAFT LEGISLATIVE TEXT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION – Click Here to Read More

[BEGIN DRAFT TEXT]

A bill to be entitled

An act relating to claims against the civil trust fund; providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1.  Section ___, Florida Statutes, is created to read:

(1) The Internal Revenue Civil Liability Trust Fund is hereby created, to be administered by the Department of Financial Services.

(2) Funds shall be credited to the trust fund from legislative appropriations and interest earnings.

(3) The trust fund shall be maintained and utilized solely for the purpose of providing reimbursements for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred by a small business domiciled in this state as a result of retaliatory proceedings initiated by the Internal Revenue Service in United States Tax Court.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund and shall be available for carrying out the purpose of the trust fund.

(5) Pursuant to the provisions of s. 19(f)(3), Art. III of the State Constitution, the trust find is not subject to termination under s. 19(f)(2), Art. III of the State Constitution.

Section 2.  Section ___, Florida Statutes, is created to read:

(1) As used in this section, the term:

a. “Department” means the Department of Financial Services.

b. “Domiciled in this state” means authorized to do business in this state and located in this state.

c. “IRS” means the Internal Revenue Service.

d. “Retaliatory” means a proceeding initiated, at least in part, in retaliation for the taxpayer’s political affiliation, ideology, or beliefs, as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.

e. “Small business” means a business, regardless of corporate structure, domiciled in this state which employs 25 or fewer people and generated average annual gross revenues of $1.5 million or less per year for the preceding 2 years. For purposes of this part, the identity of a small business is not affected by name changes or changes in personnel. 

f. “Tax court” means the United States Tax Court, which hears and resolves disputes between taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service.

(2) Any small business against which the IRS has initiated proceedings in tax court may submit a completed application to the department seeking reimbursement of reasonable attorney’s fees incurred necessarily incurred in defending itself in that proceeding provided that:

a. The small business prevailed in the proceedings before the tax court;

b. Counsel representing the small business certifies, in writing, that there is a good faith basis to believe that proceedings initiated by the IRS were retaliatory;

c. The application is accompanied by the attorney’s retainer agreement and fee or billing statements for the entire period of representation in the tax court proceedings;

d. Such application is submitted within 90 days of receipt of a final order or other pleading concluding the proceedings in tax court; and

e. The small business was not previously awarded attorney’s fees related to the proceedings in tax court. 

(3) The department shall establish the amount to be awarded and shall certify the amount of the award and the name of the claimant to the Chief Financial Officer, who shall pay the award from the fund, subject to the provisions of subsection (2).

(4) The department may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to govern the claims process; implement the provisions of this section; and carry out the duties of the department under this section.

Section 3.     This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

[END TEXT]

 

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis  
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).