With tax season upon us, it’s important that you know your rights as a tax paying citizen of the United States. In fact, the IRS has released a set of 10 rights (also known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights) that lays out what you’re entitled to, as well as processes for examination, appeals, collections, and refunds.
1: You Have the Right to Be Informed
This means you have the right to all information, with clear and concise explanations, regarding tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, correspondences, IRS decisions regarding your account, and outcomes of any action taken by the IRS.
2: You Have the Right to Quality Services
You have the right to quality, professional, and respectful assistance and communication when dealing with the IRS.
3: You Have the Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
You have the right to pay *only* the amount of tax legally due, and no more.
4: You Have the Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
You have the right to object, and supply any documentation or necessary evidence, to any IRS action.
5: You have the Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
You have the right to a fair and objective appeal of most IRS decisions in court. You also have the right to receive the Office of Appeals’ decision in writing.
6: You Have the Right to Finality
You have the right to know how much time you have to challenge an IRS decision, as well as the amount of time the IRS will have to audit any tax year or debt. You also have the right to know when the audit has ended.
7: You Have the Right to Privacy
Any IRS inquiry, examination or enforcement will be no more intrusive than necessary, will comply with all due process rights, and will provide a due process hearing where applicable.
8: You Have the Right to Confidentiality
All information you have to provide to the IRS will remain confidential unless authorized by you or by law. You also have the right to expect appropriate action against any employee, return preparer, or other individual who wrongfully uses or discloses your return information.
9: You Have the Right to Representation
You have the right to an attorney of your choosing to represent you in any dealings with the IRS. If you cannot afford representation, you can seek assistance from the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
10: You Have the Right to a Fair and Just Tax System
You have the right to expect the United States tax system to consider all facts and circumstances that could affect your liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information. You also have the right to assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service for financial difficulties or if the IRS has not resolved any tax issues in a proper and timely manner.
These are your rights as a tax payer. If you feel like any have been violated, or if you want to appeal an IRS decision about your taxes, the attorneys at Stanko, Senter & Mitchell would be glad to assist you.