The IRS announced the Taxpayer Bill of Rights this month in an effort to make taxpayers more aware of their rights when dealing with the IRS. The Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent office under the IRS, had been pushing for a Taxpayer Bill of Rights since 2007. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights the IRS has compiled offers no new information, but makes the information already in the tax code simpler and easily understandable.
The fundamental rights that taxpayers have before the IRS include:
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. Many times, the IRS miscalculates the amount of taxes due. In such cases, the taxpayer can contact the IRS and ask them to correct the amount. To get the amount corrected, taxpayers must provide documents to back their claim.
The calculations of the IRS can be challenged, but taxpayers must check the calculations of the IRS as soon as they receive communication. Delay may lead the IRS to consider their estimation final.
The Right to Challenge the IRS’ Position and Be Heard
Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions. They can expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly. Taxpayers can also expect to receive a response if the IRS does not agree.
Every taxpayer has the right to challenge the IRS’ claims. Again, it is important for taxpayers to raise objections soon after receiving information from the IRS, and also to ensure that they have proper documentation to back their claims. Challenges can be heard by the IRS or the court.