Taxpayers interacting with the IRS should know their rights

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Taxpayers interacting with the IRS should know their rights


This is the final tip in a two-part summary of the rights granted to all taxpayers.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights outlines the rights of taxpayers. The IRS groups theses rights into 10 categories. Taxpayers interacting with the IRS should review Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, which explores these rights in depth.

Here are the final five rights along with more information about each one:

The Right to Finality. Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time allowed to challenge an IRS position. They also have the right to know the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS concludes an audit.

The Right to Privacy. Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary. During these proceedings, the IRS will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections. When applicable, the IRS will provide a collection due process hearing.

The Right to Confidentiality. Taxpayers have the right to expect that their tax information will remain confidential. The IRS will not disclose information unless authorized by the taxpayers or by law. Taxpayers should expect the IRS to take appropriate action against IRS employees, return preparers and others who wrongfully disclose return information.

The Right to Retain Representation. Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice for representation during dealings with the IRS. When a taxpayer cannot afford representation, they may seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System. Taxpayers have the right to expect fairness from the tax system. The IRS must consider all facts and circumstances that might affect any liabilities, the ability to pay or the ability to provide information timely. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service. TAS can help taxpayers who are experiencing financial difficulty. They can also help when the IRS has not resolved tax issues properly and timely through normal channels.

The IRS will include Publication 1 when sending a notice on a range of issues, such as an audit or collection matter. Publication 1 is available in English and Spanish. All IRS facilities will publicly display the rights for taxpayers.

More Information:

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