The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week announced the adoption of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. For the most part, there’s really nothing new here. The IRS does not necessarily have the “final word”. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights gives taxpayers certain taxpayer rights to challenge the decisions made by the IRS that impact their tax obligations and payment of those taxes.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights simply takes the existing rights and restates them into 10 broad categories; making them more visible and easier for taxpayers to find. Perhaps the most frequently asked questions regarding taxpayer’s rights concern the rights of appeal and challenge to IRS decisions and the right to retain representation in tax matters.
The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard provides taxpayers with the right to object and provide additional information not previously considered in response to adverse IRS actions. In those cases that a taxpayer disagrees with an IRS position and can provide additional information that may benefit the taxpayer, taxpayers have the right to present additional information to be considerate and expect a prompt response to their objections even if the IRS does not agree with their position.
The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum gives taxpayers the right to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, and in less frequent cases, the right to take their tax cases to court. The right to appeals offers taxpayers a “fresh look” at their case by a new and impartial IRS representative where taxpayers were properly wronged or that new additional information was not considered.
Perhaps a taxpayer’s most important right is the Right to Retain Representation before the IRS, giving gives taxpayers the right to retain the services of a knowledgeable, licensed tax attorney, certified public accountant (CPA) or enrolled preparer to represent their interests. Navigating through complex tax law and IRS procedure (in the case of tax problem representation before the IRS) often requires professional guidance to gain the maximum benefits available to a taxpayer. The IRS is not independent; having a contrary position to that sought by taxpayers to seek the assessment and collection of federal income taxes. It is not the obligation of the IRS to provide taxpayers with the maximum tax relief benefits that are available.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights has been redefined in the following 10 categories:
- The Right to be Informed
- The Right to Quality Service
- The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
- The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
- The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
- The Right to Finality
- The Right to Privacy
- The Right to Confidentiality
- The Right to Retain Representation
- The Right to A Fair and Just Tax System
If you, or someone you know, has a tax problem and needs professional assistance with dealing with the IRS, contact us for additional information to see how we can help you.