What is the IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Sometimes, when finding out about the possibility of an IRS audit, taxpayers have a tendency to become nervous and upset. Even though the prospect of facing an IRS audit can be rather unnerving, you need to know that you are protected by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights was developed after the IRS had been getting a reputation for being unscrupulous and unyielding to taxpayers, especially during audits. It is meant to protect taxpayers from any mistreatment from IRS personnel.

Sections included in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights include:

  • Protection of your rights. The IRS employee is expected to explain and protect your taxpayer rights throughout any contact with the IRS.
  • Payment of correct tax. You are expected to pay only the amount of tax due. If you cannot, installment plans are available.
  • Representation. During contact with the IRS, you can represent yourself, or have someone represent you in your absence. That person, however, must be able to practice their profession in front of the IRS.
  • If you ask for a consultation during an interview, the IRS needs to reschedule the interview – usually.
  • Professional and courteous service. You deserve to be treated professionally and courteously. If not, report your IRS employee to their supervisor. If that is not satisfactory, write to IRS director in your area's IRS branch office.
  • Privacy and confidentiality. Except as authorized by law, the IRS cannot disclose any of your information.
  • Unresolved tax problems. If you cannot resolve a tax issue through the ‘normal' channels, you can receive help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
  • Appeals and judicial review. You have the option of filing for an appeal if you are not happy with the IRS audit decision.
  • Penalty relief. The IRS will waive and penalties and interest on your account that was caused by you taking incorrect advice from an IRS employee.

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