Dealing with the IRS can be confusing and frustrating at times. While the agency does make the final decision regarding your taxable income and money owed, you also have rights as a taxpayer. Knowing these entitlements can help you properly advocate for yourself in any disputes and can lead to a feeling of empowerment and comprehension in all of your interactions with the IRS. According to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights as found on their website, taxpayers have the following universal privileges:
The Right to be Informed
As a taxpayer, you have a right to be informed about all IRS rules and procedures. You are entitled to know what you need to do in order to comply with tax laws and to receive clear communication regarding the outcome of any IRS decisions that involve you.
The Right to Quality Service
The IRS also includes the right to quality service in their Taxpayer Bill of Rights. This means that you are entitled to clear communication regarding your case, professional service, and the ability to speak to a manager if you feel the service you received was inadequate. Since the Taxpayer First Act was signed into law in 2019, the IRS has been focused on expanding and strengthening taxpayer rights, which should translate to improved customer service.
The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
You are also entitled to pay no more than the correct amount of tax that you owe for any given fiscal year. You cannot lawfully be intentionally overcharged.
The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
If you find yourself in disagreement with the IRS, you have a right to challenge their position, make a case for yourself with additional documentation, and be heard by the proper parties.
The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
You are entitled to an objective third-party ruling for your case by the Office of Appeals and may also take your ruling to court if necessary.
The Right to Finality
You have the right to know how long the IRS has to conduct an audit, when the audit is finished, and how long you have to comply with the terms set in the final decision.
The Right to Privacy
Any IRS investigation must comply with all due process rights and cannot be any more invasive than necessary.
The Right to Confidentiality
Any information you provide to the IRS must be kept confidential unless required by law. If any member of the IRS discloses your information without your consent, you have the right to take legal action.
The Right to Retain Representation
You are also entitled to legal representation during all dealings with the IRS. If you cannot afford legal counsel you may be assigned a lawyer by a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System
In general, you have the right to a fair and just tax system that considers your unique circumstance and serves you efficiently and in a timely manner.
If you have questions about your situation, reach out to the tax advocate to see how they can assist you. More information on this service can be found here.