TAP is a Federal Advisory Committee whose mission is to
listen to taxpayers, identify taxpayers’ issues and make
suggestions for improving the IRS service and customer
This month, I would like to focus on the Taxpayer Bill
of Rights. Nina E. Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate
stated, “At their core, taxpayer rights are human rights.”
The Right to Be Informed
Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to
comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear
explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax
forms, instructions, publications, notices, and
correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS
decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear
explanations of the outcomes.
The Right to Quality Service
Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous and
professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to
be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive
clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS,
and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.
The Right to Pay No More than the
Correct Amount of Tax
Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax
legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have
the IRS apply all tax payments properly.
The Right to Challenge the IRS’s
Position and Be Heard
Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide
additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions
or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider
their timely objections and documentation promptly and
fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree
with their position.
The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in
an Independent Forum
Taxpayer are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative
appeal of most IRS decision, including many penalties, and
have the right to receive a written response regarding the
Office of Appeals’ decision.
The Right to Finality
Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time
they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the
maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax
year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have their right to
know when the IRS has finished an audit.
The Right to Privacy
Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry,
examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law
and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect
all due process rights, including search and seizure
protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection
due process hearing.
The Right to Confidentiality
Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they
provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized
by the taxpayer or by law. Taxpayers have the right to
expect appropriate action will be taken against employees,
return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose
taxpayer return information.
The Right to Retain Representation
Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized
representative of their choice to represent them in their
dealings with the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to seek
assistance from Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot
The Right to a Fair and Just Tax
Taxpayers have the 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. Taxpayers have the right to
receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if
they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has
not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through
its normal channels.
Learn more at taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/taxpayers-rights
Everyone has something to say about taxes and the IRS.
Please take a moment to give us your suggestions for TAP to
consider by contacting one of the following:
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