The IRS has announced that it is investigating claims that the estate tax is unfairly being imposed on wealthy individuals and families.
The IRS said it has launched a fraud investigation into the estate-tax penalty, which is the equivalent of a $100,000 tax bill for individuals and estates over $3.5 million.
“The IRS recognizes that the IRS has a difficult job of enforcing the tax code,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement.
“The IRS has made significant progress on many fronts, and we remain committed to taking action to prevent these types of abuses.
But the IRS will not be able to achieve its goals without the help of the public.”
In a press release, the IRS said the IRS is conducting a review of how the estate penalty is being applied.
The estate tax, also known as the death tax, is a tax that applies on the death of a person who dies before receiving his or her federal estate tax exemption.
The tax is paid on the surviving spouse’s federal estate and can be significant in determining whether a deceased person is able to receive his or a woman’s federal tax exemption after the death.
In the press release announcing the investigation, Koskinens office said that the new investigation is focused on a particular case, which was brought to the IRS by the family of former Democratic Rep. John Murtha.
The Murtha family was among the first to file a claim for the estate levy when it was first enacted in 1986, in order to receive a tax deduction for the death-related value of Murtha’s estate.
Murtha died in 1994.
The IRS was required to collect the levy after the family filed its claim.
The family has since sued the IRS over the levy, arguing that the penalty unfairly affects its estate.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Philadelphia, the Murtha estate claimed that the tax is “unfairly imposed on the Murthas” because Murtha and his wife, Karen, were both married to Americans who were also members of the armed forces.
The complaint claimed that, while Murtha was a U.S. citizen, his wife was not.
The Murthases were also both registered voters in Pennsylvania.
The tax is estimated to have been $1.3 billion in 2015, and it has caused a financial hardship for many families.
In addition to Murtha, the estate of the late singer Michael Bublé was assessed a $4.4 million levy.