The Internal Revenue Service adopted a “Taxpayer Bill Of Rights.” Most of them are rights that are already exist in the tax code, but this allows them to be more visible to clients.
Taxpayer Bill of Rights
- 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
These rights can be found under the IRS Publication 1. They will also be sent to taxpayers when they receive notices from the IRS; including audits and collections.
“The Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains fundamental information to help taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen.
“These are core concepts about which taxpayers should be aware. Respecting taxpayer rights continues to be a top priority for IRS employees, and the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights summarizes these important protections in a clearer, more understandable format than ever before.”
The IRS released the Taxpayer Bill of Rights after an extensive discussion with the Taxpayer Advocate Service; an independent office inside the IRS that represents the interest of U.S. taxpayers. Since 2007, it has been the Offices priority to publish the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and report it in their most recent Annual Report to Congress.
“Congress has passed multiple pieces of legislation with the title of ‘Taxpayer Bill of Rights,'” Olson said. “However, taxpayer surveys conducted by my office have found that most taxpayers do not believe they have rights before the IRS, and even fewer can name their rights. I believe the list of core taxpayer rights the IRS is announcing today will help taxpayers better understand their rights in dealing with the tax system.”
The timing of this Bill is important because the IRS is currently at its peak of sending notices to taxpayers from the 2014 filing season. The publication will initially be available in English and Spanish, but will be translated to other languages in the future. To help spread the word, the IRS created a special section on the IRS.gov website highlighting the ten rights. They will also add posters and signs to its public offices in the coming months.
The importance of this was echoed by IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who said. “This information is critically important for taxpayers to read and understand. We encourage people to take a moment to read the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, especially when they are interacting with the IRS. While these rights have always been there for taxpayers, we think the time is right to highlight and showcase these rights for people to plainly see.”
“I also want to emphasize that the concept of taxpayer rights is not a new one for IRS employees; they embrace it in their work every day,” Koskinen added. “But our establishment of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is also a clear reminder that all of the IRS takes seriously our responsibility to treat taxpayers fairly. Koskinen added, “The Taxpayer Bill of Rights will serve as an important educational tool, and we plan to highlight it in many different forums and venues.”
This is a move in the right direction because many taxpayers are afraid of the IRS and unaware they have rights. As they become more aware of their rights, it might subside the general feeling of fear.
In my professional career, I have seen clients so scared of opening letters from the IRS they wait for me to open it for them. Most of the time it’s nothing but a harmless notification, But the fact remains the IRS logo scares people and makes them unsure of what to do next. If you ever do get a notice from the IRS, be aware you do have rights and there are professionals who can help you resolve any issue.