Taxpayer Bill of Rights

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Filing taxes is just one of those necessary evils Americans embark on right after a new set of New Year’s resolutions. Other than tax accountants, hardly anyone is excited about going through the process. Even if you expect to receive a refund, you still have to go through hours of data reporting or pay someone to do that.

The IRS wants to ensure the entire experience of taxation is as humanly as possible, and to do that there is a set of rules and guidelines. Not just the rules what gets reported and what doesn’t, but also how the process works by laying out our bill of rights.

Here is the list of taxpayers’ rights:

The Right to Be Informed – IRS will provide clear instructions to its forms and explanation of the laws. Taxpayers will know what they need to do to comply with the law

The Right to Quality of Service – taxpayers will be treated with respect and all their matters will be addressed promptly. The responses and instructions will be clear and understandable

The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax – including interest and penalties

The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard – right to object an IRS action, provide additional documentation to support that objection, expectation that the additional documentation will be considered and fairly judged

The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum – right to take the IRS to court or impartial administrative appeal process; receive a written response explaining the agency decision

The Right to Finality – this right relates to time frame, in particular knowing:

– how much time one has to challenge the IRS’s position.
– how far back can the IRS go to audit the returns.
– when will an audit end.

The Right to Privacy – an IRS inquiry will be within legal limits

The Right to Confidentiality – no details of taxpayers’ return will be disclosed without authorization and actions will be taken against anyone disobeying the law

The Right to Retain Representation – taxpayers have the right to decide who will represent them when dealing with the IRS. Those will low income will have access to Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System – IRS will consider individual circumstances that impact individual’s ability to deal with tax obligations. Taxpayer Advocate Service will help those with low income and dealing with the IRS for extended period of time

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