It's the work of Rep. John Carter, (R TX). H.R. 735 would require that the IRS to give exactly the same treatment to everyone it gave Charles Rangel (D NY) when it didn't require him to pay any penalties for not reporting rental income from a home he owns in the Caribbean.
The bill’s title is modeled on something known in Texas as the “Hobby Rule.” In the 1970s, Bill Hobby, then the state lieutenant governor, was pulled over for drunk driving. Hobby was taken to the police station, but when his attorney showed up in the wee hours of the morning, authorities simply let Hobby go — no bond, no nothing. That special treatment became a precedent for future drunk-driving cases, as lawyers cited the “Hobby Rule” to demand their clients be freed with no questions asked, just like Bill Hobby.
Thus the “Rangel Rule.” Under H.R. 735, if you’re caught cheating on your taxes, you simply pay what you owe, then write “Rangel Rule” at the top of your return, and you won’t be charged any penalty or interest. That way, Carter said when he introduced the bill, ordinary taxpayers will be “treated with the same courtesy that, it seems, the IRS is treating the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”
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