Your Basic Rights as a Taxpayer


Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Every taxpayer has a set of basic rights that they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS for any matter. Below are a few brief descriptions of the rights and what they mean.

#1 The right to be informed
The right to be informed means several things. The tax code is very complex, and with years of study, is still not mastered by many. So what does the average person have to do to understand and be informed? It is IRS and their representatives duties to make sure forms are explained and how to comply with the tax code is made very clear to all taxpayers. If you don’t understand something, ask for clear explanations.

#2 The right to quality service
As a taxpayer you have the right to receive timely responses and professional agency staff. If you feel this right has been infringed upon, you may request a supervisor.

#3 The right to pay no more than the amount of tax due
You as a taxpayer have the right to only pay the fair and correct amount that is due. This includes penalties and interest. As well as have all your payments properly applied. If you feel you have overpaid, you do have the right to, in timely manner apply for a refund. Also if the IRS causes you considerable managerial delays you may be due to a portion of interest and penalties to be removed.

#4 The right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard
There are dates and procedures to adhere to one dealing with your right to challenge and appeal. That being said, the IRS is required to give you a reasonable time to reply to letters and decisions and appeal or contest if you are not in agreement with their findings. This is why it is important to keep good records regarding your income and tax matters.


#5 The right to appeal an IRS decision in an Independent forum
Taxpayers have the right to a fair and impartial appeal on most IRS decisions. Generally taxpayers have the right to appeal all the way up to court level.

#6 The right to finality
You as a taxpayer have the right to feel closure in reference to a tax controversy You have the right to know when your audit is over. The right to know your maximum amount of time to appeal.

#7 The right to privacy
This means you have the right to have no invasive measure of collection imposed upon you. The IRS must take only reasonable means to contact and notify you. These mean should be no more intrusive than necessary.

#8 The right to confidentiality
Taxpayers have the right to believe that any information shared with the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by them or by law. Also taxpayers have the right to believe that individuals governed by circular 230 will be held accountable for infringing on this right.

#9 The right to retain representation
I feel this is one of the most important rights taxpayers have. Because all the above rights require a fair knowledge of tax and tax code, it is difficult for most taxpayers to know when and how to exercise those rights. The right to representation means you can hire a CPA, EA, or Tax Attorney to represent you in tax proceedings. If you are unable to afford a representative, one may appointed to you by the low income tax clinic.

#10 The right to a fair and just system
Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system will hear the facts of their case. Provide taxpayers with timely information. If your needs are not met, a non-biased body called Taxpayer Advocates is available to report your claims.

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