Taxpayer Bill of Rights: The Right to Retain Representation

From the Desk of Lauran Corcoran

Taxpayer Bill of Rights: The Right to Retain Representation

The Right to Retain Representation: Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to be told that if they cannot afford to hire a representative they may be eligible for assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (“LITC”).

What does The Right to Retain Representation mean?

• If you have won your case in court, under certain conditions, you may be entitled to recover certain reasonable administrative and litigation costs related to your dispute with the IRS.

• In most situations, the IRS must suspend an interview if you request to consult with a representative, such as an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent.

• In order to qualify for assistance from an LITC, generally a taxpayer’s income must be below a certain threshold, and the amount in dispute with the IRS is usually less than $50,000.

• Taxpayers may select a person, such as an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent, to represent them in an interview with the IRS. The IRS cannot require that a taxpayer attend with a representative, unless it formally summons the taxpayer to appear.

• If you are an individual taxpayer eligible for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) assistance (generally your income must be at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level), you may ask an LITC to represent you (for free or a minimal fee) in your tax dispute before the IRS or federal court.

For more information, see Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

If you missed last week’s post, Check it out: Taxpayer Bill of Rights: Right to Appeal an IRS Decision In and Independent Forum