July 23, 2014

Know your Rights: IRS Announces Taxpayer Bill of Rights

By Ali Griffith, Supervisor, Tax & Business Services

Know your Rights: IRS Announces Taxpayer Bill of Rights

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced a new “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” that outlines the general rights of taxpayers, many of which some may not be fully aware.

National Tax Advocate Nina E. Olson has made it a goal and a top priority to work with the IRS in adopting a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Olson said, “…taxpayer surveys conducted by my office have found that most taxpayers do not believe they have rights before the IRS and even fewer can name their rights.”

In the past, taxpayers and professionals had to search for existing rights scattered throughout the tax code.

The new Taxpayer Bill of Rights takes existing rights and groups them into 10 general categories making it easier for taxpayers to understand and locate their rights directly on the IRS website:

  1. The Right to Be Informed
  2. The Right to Quality Service
  3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
  4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’s position and Be Heard
  5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
  6. The Right to Finality
  7. The Right to Privacy
  8. The Right to Confidentiality
  9. The Right to Retain Representation
  10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

Following the 2014 tax filing season, we enter peak correspondence mailing season with the IRS. Millions of mailings go out each year. It is crucial that taxpayers understand their rights when dealing with IRS letters and notices. The new taxpayer bill of rights, in addition to becoming available at the IRS website, will be included in IRS correspondence in the near future.

If you have questions regarding your rights as a taxpayer or need help in dealing with IRS correspondence, please consult your tax advisor.