Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021
1234567891011121314151617
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

The IRS Abandons its Lawless Effort to Deny Prisoners Their Rebate Payments

Alan D. Viard

Criminal Justice System, The Americas

The IRS denied the $1200-per-adult rebates to these groups even though they unambiguously qualify for the payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In previous posts (here and here), I discussed the IRS’s lawless policy denying rebate payments to several groups that it loosely refers to as “incarcerated” — convicts serving their sentences, defendants institutionalized because they were found incompetent to stand trial or insane, persons detained under sexual-predator laws, fugitives from justice, and probation and parole violators. The IRS denied the $1200-per-adult rebates to these groups even though they unambiguously qualify for the payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. When asked about the policy’s legal foundation, an IRS spokesman replied, “I can’t give you the legal basis.” As one observer commented, “It appears that the IRS is just making this up.”

In a victory for the rule of law, however, the IRS recently abandoned its policy in the face of adverse court decisions.

As I previously reported, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the US District Court for Northern California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the IRS policy on September 24, after concluding that the policy was likely illegal and that its continuation would irreparably harm prisoners. On October 14, Judge Hamilton converted the preliminary injunction into a permanent injunction after definitively concluding that the policy was illegal. The administration appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On October 23, a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel unanimously denied the administration’s request for an emergency stay of the injunction after concluding that the administration had not shown that its appeal was likely to succeed.

In the wake of these defeats, the administration has abandoned its effort to defend the IRS policy. On December 11, the Ninth Circuit panel granted the administration’s request to drop its appeal.

Did Congress want prisoners to receive the rebates when it adopted the CARES Act last March? Or did it overlook the issue during the rushed legislative process? If so, would it have disqualified prisoners if it had thought about the matter? There is no way to know, and it does not matter. The IRS must follow the law that Congress passed, not some hypothetical law that it imagines Congress wanted to pass. As the late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a unanimous 1988 Supreme Court decision about the Americans with Disabilities Act, prisoners may claim relief under a law when they are covered by its “unambiguous statutory text,” whether or not Congress “expressly anticipated” that the law would apply to prisoners.

In any event, Congress has now made a clear decision to allow prisoners to receive rebate payments. Last July, the Senate Republican leadership proposed a stimulus bill that would have retroactively disqualified prisoners from the rebates provided in the CARES Act and barred them from a second round of rebates outlined in the bill. However, that bill did not become law. In contrast, the stimulus bill that did become law on December 27 offers a second round of rebates, with no provisions disqualifying prisoners from either those rebates or the ones provided by the CARES Act. It is clear that Congress acted deliberately when it decided not to include the provisions from the Senate leadership’s bill, particularly because it did make other changes to the CARES Act’s rebate provisions. On a related note, the new law also restores prisoners’ eligibility for Pell educational grants, as discussed by my colleague Brent Orrell.  

Although Americans may disagree about whether prisoners should receive rebate payments, we should all agree that the IRS must follow the laws passed by our elected representatives in Congress.

This article was first published by the American Entreprise Institute.

Image: Reuters





Read also

Bryson DeChambeau says he trained so hard to improve golf drive he almost ‘blacked out’

DIY fan who couldn’t afford £700 sideboard revamps £40 Facebook Marketplace unit & it looks amazing

50 Cent Flames Trump Over OnlyFans Page Rumors




News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here