Ten Taxpayer Bill of Rights

In June 2014, the Internal Revenue Service formally adopted ten Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

According to IRS, all taxpayers have fundamental rights they should know about when dealing with IRS. These rights already existed in the Internal Revenue Code and IRS simply took them and grouped them into ten broad categories.  They are as follows:

Number One: The right to be informed.  This right is broken down into several parts: (a) the right to know what must be done to comply with the tax laws, (b) the right to understand IRS procedures in tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and IRS correspondence, and (c) the right to be informed of IRS decisions concerning their tax accounts and to receive understandable explanations of the outcomes.

Number Two:  The right to quality Service.  Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional help from IRS when dealing with IRS.  This includes being spoken to in a way they can easily understand.  And to speak to an IRS supervisor about inadequate service.

Number Three:  The right to pay no more than the correct tax amount.  Taxpayers have the right to pay only the tax legally due, including penalties and interest, and to have IRS properly apply those payments to the appropriate accounts.

Number Four:  The right to challenge IRS’ position and to be heard.  Taxpayers have the right to challenge IRS’ position, raise objections, provide additional documentation, and receive prompt and fair responses from IRS.

Number Five:  The right to appeal an IRS decision to an independent forum.  Taxpayers have the right to administratively appeal unfavorable IRS decisions to the IRS’ Office of Appeals.  And to have an impartial written decision concerning their appeals from the Office of Appeals.  Taxpayers also have the right to have their cases heard in a court of law.

Number Six:  The right to finality.  Taxpayers have a right to understand how much time they have to challenge an unfavorable IRS decision.  Taxpayers also have a right to know the maximum time IRS has to audit a tax return or to collect an unpaid tax debt.

Number Seven:  The right to privacy.  Taxpayers can expect that any IRS inquiry, audit, or enforcement action will adhere to the law.  Taxpayers can also expect such IRS actions to be no more intrusive than necessary and that IRS will respect all due process rights including search and seizure protections.

Number Eight: Right to confidentiality.  Taxpayers have the right to expect that any confidential tax information pertaining to them will not be disclosed by IRS unless authorized by law.  Taxpayers have the right to expect that IRS will take appropriate action against any IRS employee or official or any tax return preparer that wrongfully discloses or uses their confidential tax information.

Number Nine:  Right to retain representation.  Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in dealings with IRS. If they cannot afford professional representation, they have the right to contact a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic to determine eligibility to retain representation.

Number Ten:  Right to a fair and just tax system.  Taxpayers have a right to expect IRS to consider all facts affecting their tax liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide timely information.  If they experience difficulties dealing with IRS, taxpayers have the right to contact a local Taxpayer Advocate Service representative to help them with their tax problems.

These ten Taxpayer Bill of Rights form the core of a taxpayer’s rights when dealing with IRS and IRS’ obligations to protect those rights when dealing with taxpayers. The tax attorneys at Wood & Lamping can help you in asserting these rights if you encounter any difficulties dealing with IRS in resolving your tax liabilities.

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  • About the Author


    Howard L. Richshafer

    Howard Richshafer joined Wood + Lamping in 2008, and his practice is focused on civil and criminal tax problems, estate planning and probate, tax court trial work, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate business matters. Howard is also a licensed Ohio CPA. Over the past 40 years, Howard has represented clients experiencing all types of civil and criminal tax problems with IRS. Those problems include IRS audits, IRS criminal investigations, enforced collection of unpaid tax liabilities involving levies, liens, and seizures of assets and income.

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