Taxpayers Interacting With The IRS
Should Know Their Rights

This is Part 2 in the two-part summary of the rights granted to all taxpayers. Last week, we discussed that all taxpayers have basic fundamental rights as outlined by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The IRS groups these rights into 10 categories. The first five rights we outlined last week include:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right to quality service
  • The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax
  • The right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard
  • The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum

Here are the final five rights along with more information about each one:

The Right to Finality

  • You have the right to know the maximum amount of time allowed to challenge an IRS position.
  • You also have the right to know the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt.
  • You have the right to know when the IRS concludes an audit.

The Right to Privacy

  • You have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary.
    • During these proceedings, the IRS will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections.
    • When applicable, the IRS will provide a collection due process hearing.

The Right to Confidentiality

  • You have the right to expect that your tax information will remain confidential.
    • The IRS will not disclose information unless authorized by you or by law.
  • You should expect the IRS to take appropriate action against IRS employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully disclose return information.

The Right to Retain Representation

  • You have the right to retain an authorized representative of your choice for representation during dealings with the IRS.
    • If you cannot afford representation, you may seek assistance from aLow Income Taxpayer Clinic.

The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

  • You have the right to expect fairness from the tax system.
  • The IRS must consider all facts and circumstances that might affect any liabilities, the ability to pay, or the ability to provide information timely.
  • You have the right to receive assistance from theTaxpayer Advocate Service.
    • TAS can help taxpayers who are experiencing financial difficulty.
    • They can also help when the IRS has not resolved tax issues properly and timely through normal channels.

Taxpayers interacting with the IRS should review Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, which explores these rights in depth.

The IRS will include Publication 1 when sending a notice on a range of issues, such as an audit or collection matter. Publication 1 is available in English and Spanish.

If you are unclear as to your rights as a taxpayer as outlined in The Taxpayer Bill of Rights, feel free to contact your tax professional.

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