On June 10th, 2014, the IRS formally recognized National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina E. Olsen’s proposal to institute a bill of rights for taxpayers. This bill of rights focuses on protecting the taxpayer’s rights in all of their encounters with the IRS. The new document combines all of the existing rights in the Internal Revenue Code into ten essential rights. Doing so makes it clear, understandable and accessible for taxpayers and IRS employees.
1) The right to be informed: Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do in order to be compliant with tax law. This ensures that taxpayers are given clear explanations of the laws and procedures, as well as being kept updated on the decisions the IRS made about the taxpayer’s tax account.
2) The right to quality service: This ensures that taxpayers receive courteous, prompt and professional assistance when dealing with IRS.
3) The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax: Taxpayers have the right to ensure all payments have been applied correctly verifying that any tax due is the legal amount, including any interest and penalties.
4) The right to challenge the IRS’s position and be hard: Taxpayers reserve the right to object IRS actions with additional documentation, and should expect that the IRS will give them time to respond and gather the appropriate documentation. Even if the IRS objects, the taxpayer has the right to receive notice of the IRS’s disagreement.
5) The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum: Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and unbiased appeal of a majority IRS decisions, including, but not limited, to penalties and interest assessed. Taxpayers also reserve the right to receive a written response from the Office of Appeals’ decision.
6) The right to finality: This ensures that taxpayers will be made aware of the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s decision, as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit the particular tax year and to collect tax debt.
7) The right to privacy: This safeguards taxpayer’s privacy by ensuring the IRS is not anymore intrusive than necessary and requires any examination by the IRS to be complacent with the law and to respect due process rights.
8) The right to confidentiality: Taxpayer’s have the right to anticipate that the IRS will not disclose any of the taxpayer’s information unless told otherwise. Taxpayers reserve the right to assume action will be taken against those who use or disclose taxpayer information.
9) The right to retain representation: Taxpayers have the right to obtain a representative of their choice to represent them when dealing with the IRS. Seeking assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer clinic is also an option for taxpayers who qualify.
10) The right to a fair and just tax system: Taxpayers reserve the right to expect a tax system that considers all facts and circumstances that might affect the taxpayer’s liabilities, inability to pay or inability to provide information timely. Taxpayers can go to Taxpayer Advocate Service to receive assistance if they are having financial problems or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues timely and properly.