This article looks at the Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988, PL 100-647, Subtitle J, better known as Taxpayer Bill of Rights 1, which was passed by US Congress and signed into law in 1988. The article also examines a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for increased taxpayer protections, PL 104-168, or Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2 which passed unanimously in the House of Representatives 16 April 1996 and was passed without amendment by the Senate, received Presidential endorsement and became law on 30 July 1996.

This article focuses on the changes to the US Internal Revenue Code and analyses whether they advance taxpayers' rights or whether these legislative changes are merely a means by which politicians can undermine the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and thus score cheap points with their constituents. The article also considers whether the changes represent an attack on the IRS and its effective operation.