Conclusion – Taxpayer Bill of Rights

We have addressed the first seven Rights that taxpayers have according to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  As we conclude this mini-series, we will look at the final three Rights.

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.

No different than when you visit a medical provider and you sign the HIPPA documents, your information on file with the IRS is confidential and not permitted to be shared without authorization.

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 see Assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.

When there is a dispute regarding your taxpayer account, you have the right to retain a representative.  If you do so, make certain that the representative is authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

THE RIGHT TO A FAIR AND JUST TAX SYSTEM. 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.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that can help protect your taxpayer rights.  They can offer help if you are experiencing a hardship or haven’t been able to resolve your problems with the IRS.  Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1.877.777.4778 to speak with an agent.

So there you have it – Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  We hope that you have learned that the IRS does not necessarily have the final word.

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Kay Sowa

About the Author

Kay Sowa is a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Group at Capehart & Scatchard, P.A. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent as well as a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. She oversees the trust and estate administration practice for the firm. She is an accomplished author and lecturer who has frequently spoken on behalf of a number of organizations including the National Business Institute and the Institute of Paralegal Education.

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