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TaxPayer Rights (What You Should Be Aware of)

Written by Jacob Merkley on June 1, 2020

Yes You Do Have Rights

You have many rights as a U.S. taxpayer that you may not be aware of. The IRS has a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that you should be aware of as you take on your tax case.

Being aware of these rights will help you stand your ground against the IRS. Regardless of where you are in the tax resolution cycle, this information is important. Knowing when and how IRS personnel are taking advantage of you is key to keeping your case in check.

YouTube Channel: Construction & Trade Contractor Tax Talk

Right #1. The Right to be Informed.

Taxpayers have a right to know what needs to be done to comply with the current tax laws. Clear explanations of the law, procedures, instructions, should be provided. You also have the right to be informed of IRS decisions regarding your tax account along with outcome explanations.

Right #2. The Right to Quality Service.

You have the right to receive professional and courteous assistance. You should be spoken to in a way that is easy to understand. Also, you should receive understandable communication from the IRS. Lastly, you should have a way to file complaints about the IRS if the service they provide is not that great.

Right #3. The Right to Pay no More than the Correct Amount of Tax.

Taxpayers should never be paying more than what they are legally obligated to pay as their official tax liability. The IRS should apply all tax payments properly and can be held accountable to this.

Right #4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’ Position and Be Heard.

You can raise objections and provide additional documentation that will help challenge the IRS’s position regarding a formal IRS action or proposed action. You can expect the IRS to consider your challenge in a timely way and will receive a response in a timely manner.

Right #5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum.

Taxpayers are entitled to an impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions. They can utilize the Office of Appeals’ decision in tax matters. Taxpayers generally also have the right to take their case to court.

Right #6. The Right to Finality.

You have the right to know the statutory time limits regarding filings, taxes, audits, collection, and so forth. Taxpayers also have the right to know the maximum amount of time they must challenge the IRS’s position and when they have completed an audit.

Right #7. The Right to Privacy.

Privacy is a big deal, especially at the IRS. Inquiries, examinations, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary. They will respect all due process rights.

Right #8. The Right to Confidentiality.

You have the right to confidentiality regarding any information you provide the IRS and will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. The IRS will investigate and take appropriate action against employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose your information.

Right #9. The Right to Retain Representation.

Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in any dealings with the IRS. Those that are authorized representatives are Enrolled Agents (EA), tax attorneys, and CPA’s. If you cannot afford to hire a representative, you may be eligible for assistance from a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Right #10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System.

Lastly, you have the right to expect the tax system to consider all facts that might affect liabilities, ability to pay, ability to provide information timely, and so on. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

Tax Resolution Resources

If you would like to get in touch with the TAS, you can call them toll-free at 877-777-4778.

Additionally, here are several resources that will provide additional information about this unique, independent office within the IRS:

Taxpayer Advocate Services

Local Locations

Taxpayer Bill of rights


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