One senator has announced legislation aimed to help small business owners with the IRS.

Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn introduced his new piece of legislation titled “Small Business Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act of 2012,” which he says would lower compliance burdens for taxpayers, improve taxpayer access to the tax court, strengthen protections for taxpayers, and compensate taxpayers for abuses by the Internal Revenue Service.

Cornyn announced the SBTBOR in Houston Wednesday morning.

Some of the key aspects of the bill include:

  • Creating a new alternative dispute resolution procedure program allowing taxpayers to request mediation by an independent, neutral party not employed by the IRS.
  • Eliminates the fee imposed on installment agreements for low-income taxpayers who agree to make direct debit payments.
  • Prohibits secret conversations between IRS employees and the IRS Office of Appeals when discussing a taxpayer’s case, and violation of that prohibition would be grounds for employee termination.
  • Increases the amount of civil damages a taxpayer can be awarded when their tax return/information is unlawfully disclosed by the IRS.

“Small business owners face an especially crushing burden of paperwork, but they lack the key financial and legal resources that multinational corporations do,” said Cornyn.

“Now more than ever, with an economy struggling to recover and increased tax burdens from the 2010 health care law around the corner, we need to ensure our small businesses are spending more time creating jobs and opportunity and less time dealing with the IRS and an archaic tax code.”