The Right to Be Informed

The Right to Be Informed

The tax world is a complicated one. Navigating the waters of the Internal Revenue manual and the tax code is not something that most taxpayers are equipped to handle. Taxpayers have the right to know what to do to be compliant with the tax laws. If they call the IRS and speak to an agent, or receive something in the mail that needs explanation, they are due to this right. As a taxpayer, you are entitled to clear explanations of the tax law as well as clear directions relating to the tax forms you are completing. An IRS decision made on your behalf must be explained to you so that you grasp what it means and the ramifications of that decision.

So, what does this all mean?

When IRS sends correspondence regarding a decision they made, you have the right to understand what that letter says. If you can’t make sense of the letter, you may call the IRS directly for clarification. These explanations include notices, adjustments, or any administrative reviews. Just about anything the IRS sends through the mail should have explanations or be explained online or over the phone.

Being penalized for non-compliance of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and fines are placed on your account? You have the right to know what these fines are for, the amount of the assessment, and what part of the tax law discusses this violation.

RELATED: The Right to Confidentiality

If you are being audited by the IRS, it is their job to inform you of the process of the review and what is expected of you.  This right is a big one! Make sure you understand as much as possible if you are trying to represent yourself in an audit or like hearing. IRS has some videos on their youtube to explain the processes and procedures. As well as a wealth of information here.

If you are in a payment plan or installment agreement with the IRS, they must be transparent with you. They are required to send timely notices explaining your balance and payments.

You have the right to review your records and learn what the IRS knows about you. Although taxpayers have the right to look at their files, this can sometimes raise red flags. Additionally, you should allow a professional to order and explain your transcripts as these can be difficult to interpret.

The bottom line: You have rights as a taxpayer. Do yourself a favor and become informed. You have the right to understand what the IRS is telling you in plain easy to comprehend language.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. Please read our full disclaimer here.

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