The IRS Mission
Provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.
This mission statement describes our role and the public’s expectation about how we should perform that role.
- In the United States, the Congress passes tax laws and requires taxpayers to comply.
- The taxpayer’s role is to understand and meet his or her tax obligations.
- The IRS role is to help the large majority of compliant taxpayers with the tax law, while ensuring that the minority who are unwilling to comply pay their fair share.
If you read the above mission statement and guiding principles as it relates to the IRS, it may shock you. At no time in the above paragraph does it say anything about the IRS’ main role as we all know it. My clients and most taxpayers will agree, the IRS is a hard-nosed collection agency for the United States.
It has often been said there are only three things you have to do in life: Live, Die, and Pay Taxes.
So why then if the general consensus is the IRS is more a collector than an administrator and educator of laws, does their mission statement not reflect that? The answer in my mind is simple. As a taxpayer first and foremost, you are due fairness within the laws of the land. The ever dreaded IRS and its taxes are there to hold all accountable, as well as protect law abiding citizens.
Does the legal process always have the outcome we would wish? Often times the answer is no. But, if you are aware of the above mission statement, it can help you to understand that you as a taxpayer DO have rights. If the revenue officer hiding behind letters, threats, and requests is bullying you and not holding up their end of the law, it is your right to object. Knowing that you have a right to counsel is the first step. A skilled and well versed attorney can help you fight for what is fair and right within the law.
The above statement mentions with integrity and fairness to all. It doesn’t state just some, or select few, but all. This means even if you have been delinquent in the past, you have the right to get back on track. Now more than ever, the IRS is willing to work with taxpayers to settle past due debts. Having an attorney who specializes in tax law, collection strategy and procedure, can make a world of difference to your financial well-being. If you or someone you know is in need of guidance in a tax controversy, don’t hesitate to reach out to a reputable tax attorney and protect your rights.