The Taxpayer Bill of Rights

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Taxation
  •   Comments Off on The Taxpayer Bill of Rights


For many, paying taxes can seem tedious, confusing, and unfair. This is especially salient when you see your reduced paycheck a, big tax bill, or read about how the government lost track of tens of billions of dollars in cash in Afghanistan. In addition, there are many people who are dissatisfied with the IRS due to past personal experiences, such as dissatisfactory customer service, audits, penalties, or tax refund reductions.

But despite our problems with the IRS, taxation, and what the government does with our money, it is our duty as Americans to pay our taxes and support our country. With that duty comes rights. The tax code provides basic rights to taxpayers. Collectively adopted by the IRS as the “taxpayers bill of rights”, these rights include:

  1. The right to be informed. Taxpayers have a right to notice. This means that if you owe money, are assessed a penalty, have a claim denied, or there is action on your tax account, you have a right to know that this has occurred and why. Further, you are entitled to clear explanations of relevant tax laws and IRS procedures.
  2. The right to quality service. You have the “right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance” when interacting with the IRS. If you are dissatisfied with the level of service you are receiving, you are entitled to speak with a representative’s supervisor.
  3. The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax. This is obvious. You do not have to pay the IRS more than you owe. After all, your money is your money. If you believe that you have overpaid your taxes, you may file for a refund. Of if you believe that the IRS has overcharged you, you have the right to ask for a correction.
  4. The right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard. You have the right to challenge adverse IRS decisions and actions within 60 days. This means that you can provide records or documents to demonstrate that the IRS made an error, or in response to an audit.
  5. The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum. You have the ability to raise an appeal to the IRS Office of Tax Appeals, or if appropriate, to the U.S. Tax Court.
  6. The right to finality. Essentially, this is the right to peace of mind. You have the right to know your own deadlines to appeal, as well as the IRS’ s deadlines to take adverse action. You also have the right to know when an IRS audit is complete.
  7. The right to privacy. You have a constitutional right to freedom from unlawful search and seizure. This means there are limits when it comes to IRS investigation or enforcement.
  8. The right to confidentiality. The IRS cannot release information that you submit unless you authorize it or otherwise authorized by law. Further, legal and employment action can be taken against IRS employees who violate this right.
  9. The right to retain representation. You have the right to an attorney in dealing with the IRS.
  10. The right to a fair and just tax system. This means a “right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely.”

Contact an Experienced Attorney for Assistance

If you are experiencing an adverse IRS decision or action, you have legal rights. Exercise your right to representation and contact the Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas for legal representation. I have a Master of Law Degree (LLM) in Taxation and am licensed to practice in the United States Tax Court. In addition, with over twenty year of experience in the are of IRS taxation, I will make sure that the IRS takes you seriously. Contact The Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas at 847-392-5893 to schedule a consultation or visit our website today.

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