Do you know your rights as a taxpayer? In case you didn’t know it yet, your obligation to pay taxes is matched the IRS’ obligation to uphold your rights as a taxpayer. But what are these rights?
1. The right to know your rights.
IRS employees are required by to explain your rights as a taxpayer throughout the entire time that you are in contact with them. And they are required to uphold these rights too.
2. Privacy and confidentiality
The IRS cannot disclose your information to anyone, except those that are authorized by law. You also have the right to ask IRS personnel why they are asking for your information, how they will use it and what will happen if you do not provide the information they requested.
3. Professional and courteous service
If you feel that an IRS employee did not treat you in a fairly professional and courteous manner, you can take up that employee’s behavior with his or her supervisor. If you are not satisfied with the supervisor’s response you can write to the IRS director of your area or the center from which you filed your return.
You can represent yourself or have a tax professional (attorney, certified public accountant, or enrolled tax agent) represent you. If you are being interviewed by the IRS, you can have someone accompany you. You can also record any meetings with IRS examination, appeal, or collection personnel, but you have to write to the IRS about it 10 days before the meeting.
5. The right not to overpay taxes
You are required only to pay taxes that are due to the IRS, nothing more, nothing less. If you cannot pay the entire amount, you can pay in monthly installment payments.
6. The right to get help with tax problems
You can seek the help of the Taxpayer Advocate Service if you have tried to (unsuccessfully) resolve a problem with the IRS. Check the local Taxpayer Advocates in you area.
7. The right to appeals and judicial review
You have the right to appeal your tax liability or specific collection action if you disagreed with the IRS about the amount you owe. You can ask the IRS Appeals Office or a court to review your case.
8. Relief from penalties and interest
You have the right to have penalties waived if you prove that you acted reasonably and good faith, or relied on the incorrect counsel of an IRS employee. The IRS is required to waive the interest that results in errors or delays caused by an IRS employee.