Yes, you heard that right. The IRS adopted ten taxpayer rights back in 2014 to create a better understanding with consumers and those in the tax business. It is important to know that none of these were new rights, but existing rights created from regulations and policies which were already put in place.
Employees of the IRS are responsible for knowing and upholding these rights. These rights ensure that every taxpayer’s concerns are handled fairly.
Below is a summary of each of the ten rights.
1. The right to be informed: As a taxpayer, you will always have the right to understand how tax compliance laws work. The IRS should be able to offer concise explanations of the laws, procedures, decision, and outcomes of your tax situation.
2. The right to quality service: You should always expect prompt, courteous, and professional service from IRS agents. If you feel that your service was not prompt, you should always feel comfortable with speaking to a supervisor.
3. The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax: As a taxpayer, you should only pay the tax that is currently due, including interest and penalties. The IRS is also required to properly apply all payments to your account correctly.
4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’s position and Be Heard: At any point, you have the right to raise objections and continue to do so during the IRS action or proposed actions process. You are also encouraged to provide documentation to support your objection. The IRS is expected to promptly review your challenge and provide a response on why it may not agree with the challenge.
5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum: You should always feel encouraged to an impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including penalties. The Office of Appeals is also required to provide a written response of its determination.
6. The Right to Finality – Audits have finite lifespans: The IRS should inform you of how long its auditing process will take and collect a tax debt. The IRS should also inform the length of time you may challenge the position of the IRS.
7. The Right to Privacy: The IRS is expected to be limit its intrusiveness as its conduct its inquiry, examination, or enforcement action. The IRS will follow due process and will provide a collection due process hearing where applicable.
8. The right to Confidentiality: The IRS will make every effort to not disclose any information you provide unless authorized by you or the law. An IRS employee, return preparer, or others will face appropriate action if they ever wrongfully use or disclose your return information.
9. The Right to Retain Representation: Authorized representatives, such as a CPA or Enrolled Agent are allowed to represent you in the front of the IRS. If representation isn’t available due to economic hardship, you may request assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System : You have the right to expect that the tax system to measure your ability to pay, liability, or collect supportive information against ongoing circumstances and facts within your life. If a resolution hasn’t been equitable, you should feel free to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for further assistance.
Taxes are complex issues which need to be addressed fairly. Hence the adoption of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
Feel free to contact us to help with researching your IRS account, representation in audit, or other tax issues.