Understanding the taxpayer’s right to be informed
Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. Not just during filing season but, all year.
When something happens to a taxpayer’s account, that taxpayer has the right to be informed about the activity. In fact, this right is one of ten outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
The right to be informed is at the top of the list. This means taxpayers have the right to:
- Know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws.
- Have clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence.
- Be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts.
- Receive clear explanations of the outcomes of IRS decisions.
To make sure taxpayers are informed, the IRS will:
- Include within certain notices any amount of the tax, interest and certain penalties the taxpayer owes.
- Explain why the taxpayer owes any taxes.
- Explain the specific reasons why it denied a refund claim.
- Post information on IRS.gov to help taxpayers understand their IRS notice or letter.
- Send a letter when the agency assesses a tax. That letter must include:
- Information on how the taxpayer can appeal the decision.
- An explanation of the entire process from audit through the collection.
- Details on how the Taxpayer Advocate Service can help.
- Send an annual statement to taxpayers who enter into a payment plan. The statement will include how much the taxpayer:
- Owes at the beginning of the year.
- Paid during the year.
- Still owes at the end of the year.
- Make forms and publications available on IRS.gov.
- Use social media to provide helpful tax information to a wide audience of taxpayers.