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IRS Adopts a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights”

June 17, 2014

The IRS has announced its “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” to help taxpayers understand their legal rights when dealing with the IRS. Taxpayer’s rights include the right to pay no more than the correct amount of taxes, the right to challenge the IRS’ position and be heard, and the right to confidentiality.

The IRS released the Taxpayer Bill of Rights after extensive discussions with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent office inside the IRS that represents the interests of U.S. taxpayers. Though the Taxpayer Bill of Rights does not include anything new than what is already there in the tax code, the IRS has made it concise and readable to help taxpayers easily understand their basic rights.

“Taxpayer surveys conducted by my office have found that most taxpayers do not believe they have rights before the IRS and even fewer can name their rights,” said Nina E. Olson, United States Taxpayer Advocate, a government office dedicated to helping taxpayers solve their problems with the Internal Revenue Service, “I believe the list of core taxpayer rights the IRS is announcing today will help taxpayers better understand their rights in dealing with the tax system.”

Having an easily understandable Taxpayer Bill of Rights available on the IRS website will help more taxpayers to know their rights. The IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen, who took over at the difficult time when the IRS was hit by scandals, said, “The Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains fundamental information to help taxpayers. These are core concepts about which taxpayers should be aware. Respecting taxpayer rights continues to be a top priority for IRS employees, and the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights summarizes these important protections in a clearer, more understandable format than ever before.”

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights includes 10 rights that taxpayers mostly need to use. Knowledge about these rights can help taxpayers to better handle their tax cases, defend themselves, and seek help if they find themselves in need. By listing the rights in a simple manner, the IRS has made the information that was in the tax code easily available to the public.

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