Taxpayer Bill of Rights – Part 3

Our last two blogs have addressed four of the ten Rights that taxpayers have according to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  Let’s look at the next three Rights.

THE RIGHT TO APPEAL AN IRS DECISION IN AN INDEPENDENT FORUM.  Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have a right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision.  Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.

If you feel that the decision made by the IRS is unfair, you can pursue the matter to a higher authority.  You have the right to have your matter heard in court.  Appeal Rights can be found in Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare A Protest If You Don’t Agree, and Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims For Refund.

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 the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.

When you have an open issues with the IRS, we have to Right to be informed and to know when the matter has been concluded.  The IRS will mail you notices of their decisions via USPS.  They will not email you.  Keep all notices so that you have a paper trail of the correspondence.

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.

Your privacy is important and confidential.  The IRS is aware of the volume of identity theft and has dedicated divisions that deal in this regard.  .

We will wrap the Bill of Rights in our next blog.


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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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