From the Desk of Lauran Corcoran
Taxpayer Bill of Rights
This week’s post will introduce the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. In future posts, I will address how these rights factor into an audit.
It was only in 2014 that the IRS adopted the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a list of ten fundamental rights applicable to every taxpayer. These rights serve as the foundational framework for taxpayers and IRS employees alike.
The Ten Rights:
1. The Right to Be Informed: Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.
2. The Right to Quality Service: Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.
3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax: Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.
4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard: Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.
5. The right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum: Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions.
6. The Right to Finality: Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt.
7. The Right to Privacy: Taxpayers 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.
8. The Right to Confidentiality: Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law.
9. 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.
10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System: Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely.