Taxpayer Bill of Rights – Part 2

Our last blog was the first in our series highlighting the ten Rights that taxpayers have according to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  This blog will highlight the next three Rights.

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.

If you have questions, the most effective manner to resolve the same is to speak to an IRS representative.  When you call, the agent will give you their name and badge number.  This information is second nature to them and they may state it very quickly.  Don’t be intimidated and not ask for them to repeat the information.  It is very helpful to keep a log of communications with the IRS regarding a particular matter so that if needed, you can refer back to the agents you spoke with and when.

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.

Contrary to popular belief, as a taxpayer, you are entitled to pay no more than the correct amount of tax based upon your particular situation.  If you feel that you are being assessed more tax than you are legally required to pay (sorry, we must all pay our share of taxes), then you have the right to appeal the assessment.   You can visit the IRS website to learn more about appeals or engage the services of a tax professional to assist you in this regard.

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.

As mentioned above, you have the Right to challenge and be heard.  Don’t be intimidated because it is the IRS.  Contact the IRS or engage a tax professional to act on your behalf to be heard.  One word of warning – when deciding to take this action, make certain you have documentation available to support your stance.  Without documentation, you may find it more difficult to challenge the position of the IRS.

Stay tuned for more Rights in the upcoming weeks.


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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, an Accredited Estate Planner®, and a Certified Trust and Fiduciary 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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