Tax Basics

bill of rights

Audited? IRS Issues? Here Are Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights

April 24, 2017 : Allie Freeland – Contributing Editor

As a U.S. taxpayer, you have right you should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. There are ten key areas included in the IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights. They are established to give you special rights if you are faced with IRS issues. Her are the 10 core concepts you should be aware of:

1 – The Right to Be Informed

You have the right to information in order to comply with tax laws. This means that the IRS will provide ample resources for you through clear explanations, procedures, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. You also have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about your tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of your outcome. For example, if you receive a notice fully or partially disallowing your refund claim, including a refund you claim on your income tax return, it must explain the specific reasons why the claim is being disallowed.

2 – The Right to Quality Service

You have the right to receive prompt and professional IRS assistance. You also have the right to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to an IRS supervisor about inadequate service.

3 – The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax

You have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally owed and have the IRS apply any payments properly. This includes interest and penalties owed to the IRS.

4 – The Right to Challenge the IRS

You have the right to challenge the IRS. You can also expect they will consider your objections and that you will receive a response if they don’t agree with your position.

5 – The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision

You are entitled to an administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including penalties. You also have the right to receive a written response of the IRS Office of Appeals’ decision. You also generally have the right to take your case to tax court.

6 – The Right to Finality

You have the right to know the maximum amount of time you have to challenge the IRS on an audit of a particular tax year or collected tax debt. Your time to respond is generally 90 days, or 150 days if your live outside the IRS. Each correspondence you receive from the IRS should indicate the time allowed for a response. You also have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.

7 – The Right to Privacy

You have the right to expect any IRS inquiry, examination, or action will comply with tax law. The IRS will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections, and if applicable, will provide a due process hearing.

8 – The Right to Confidentiality

You have the right to expect that information provided to the IRS will not be disclosed to others, unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law.

9 – The Right to Retain Representation

You have the right to retain an authorized representative of your choice to represent you in your dealings with the IRS. You have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if you can’t afford representation.

10 – The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

You have the right to have the facts and circumstances affecting your liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. You also are entitled to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if you are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved your tax issues properly and timely through its normal procedures.

Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them. View the complete list of the IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

If you are faced with common tax issues like an audit, penalty, unpaid IRS bills, or an unfiled tax return, let H&R Block’s tax pros help you out. View more information on tax audit and tax notice services.

Allie Freeland – Contributing Editor

Allie Freeland – Contributing Editor

H&R Block

Allie is the Contributing Editor of the H&R Block blog, Block Talk. She has been a practicing grammar geek since 2007.

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