Millions of people across the country will be receiving an extra document from the Internal Revenue Service this year when they receive notices about collections or audits. According to the IRS, it will be issuing taxpayers a document called the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.” The document lays out some of the rights of taxpayers as covered by the tax code, providing individuals with a better understanding of where the power of the IRS ends with regard to 10 areas.
Included in the Bill of Rights is the fact that taxpayers have a right to be informed so they can comply appropriately with tax laws. That right covers clear explanations of issues, timely information about decisions and receipt of necessary forms and instructions. Taxpayers also have a right to only pay the correct tax amount and, subsequently, a right to challenge what the IRS says is owed.
Taxpayers can appeal IRS decisions and have a right to know that there is a maximum time limit during which both the IRS and the taxpayer can take action on returns, audits and other issues. The Bill of Rights even says that taxpayers have a right to receive quality services from the IRS, including professional and courteous communication and understandable instruction.
Other rights provided to taxpayers include the right to seek legal representation in tax matters, the right to privacy and confidentiality and the right to a just, fair tax system. Though many individuals might debate the presence of a fair tax system, this list of rights helps create a fairer playing field for individuals and businesses. Each taxpayer has a right to seek outside help in challenging the IRS when audits, liens or bills are deemed incorrect.
Source: The Washington Post, “IRS unveils ‘Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights’” Josh Hicks, Jun. 10, 2014