Know Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights When Dealing With the IRS Pt 1

Know Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights When Dealing With the IRS – Pt 1

The focus of my practice is in working with taxpayers to give them an avenue that leads to a resolution for a tax problem that is causing undue stress. We can provide relief by offering representation before the IRS in the area of collection of tax debt, and finding the best option to satisfy the debt; including installment agreements and offers in compromise.​​

In 2014 the IRS adopted the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.   These ten rights are set in place to assist the taxpayer in dealing with the IRS, and to gain a better understanding of what the IRS can and cannot do in their handling of your taxes. These are handled in an overview fashion.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Right to Be Informed ​- When taxpayers receive any kind of communication that there is a problem with their taxes, they have the right to know exactly what is needed of them in order to be in compliance with the tax laws. This is not something that the taxpayer should need to research. They are to be provided with a clear explanation of the tax law and IRS procedures regarding tax forms, instructions, publication, notices, and all correspondence. Any decisions that the IRS makes regarding the taxpayer’s account needs to be communicated and there needs to be a clear explanation of what contributed to the decision. When properly informed of situation, there should not be any surprises or left in the dark.

The Right to Quality Service ​- Taxpayers are to be treated with a high level of customer service. When dealing with the IRS, the interaction should be one that is courteous, prompt, and of a professional attitude.  This includes being contacted at reasonable hours between 8 a.m. and  9 p.m. The representative of the IRS is to communicate in a way that is easily understood and any instruction given is very clear to follow.  If there is any service that the taxpayer feels was inadequate or unprofessional, they should have a way to file a complaint.

The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax – Taxpayers have the right to pay only what is owed for the legally due tax and the IRS is to properly apply all tax payments.  If the IRS is proposing to make a change to the amount of tax owed, then the taxpayer should expect to see some sort of notice stating that there is a deficiency in the taxes owed or paid.  The notice should provide the right to challenge the proposed changed in Tax Court without first paying the adjusted amount.  If you feel you overpaid, it is available to file for a refund. If the IRS is charging interest that is a result of their unreasonable errors of delays, the taxpayer may request that the charges be removed.

The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard – ​When the IRS takes formal actions or proposes actions to be taken, the taxpayer has the right to object to such actions or proposals, and follow up with additional documentation that disputes the actions.  The IRS is expected and obligated to consider the objections and documentation promptly and in a fair manner given that the taxpayer followed up in a timely manner.  The IRS is also expected to respond with a notice of deficiency explaining why the tax increase is taking place.  If this is not agreed upon, the taxpayer has the right to petition the U.S. Tax Court.

The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum – In most IRS decisions, including many penalties, the taxpayer has the right to a fair and impartial administrative appeal.  This is handled by the IRS Office of Appeals that is separate from the IRS Office where your case was originally reviewed. They also have the right to receive a written response from the Office of Appeals regarding the decision.  Even if the case is lost in appeals, the taxpayer generally has the right to take the case to court.

It is always important to know your rights in any situation and we covered five of the ten rights for the taxpayer when dealing with the IRS, and in the next post the remaining five taxpayer rights will be shared.

If you have any questions regarding the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in San Jose, CA feel free to contact me at (408) 684-8505 or email me at