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Taxpayer Rights Part 5: The Right to Representation and the Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

July 3, 2014

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights lists 10 basic rights taxpayers should keep in mind when they are dealing with the IRS. Though these rights exist in the tax code, they are not widely known. With the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the IRS seeks to make sure taxpayers are aware of and understand their rights.

In the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the ninth and the tenth rights of taxpayers are as follows:

9. The Right to Retain Representation

When dealing with the IRS, taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them. If they cannot afford to hire a tax lawyer, enrolled agent or certified public accountant for representation, taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Taxpayers have full freedom to choose any tax representative to resolve their case with the IRS, but it must be remembered that the representative must fulfill the eligibility set by the IRS for representation.

10. 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 timely information. In case the IRS has not resolved a taxpayer’s issues properly or timely through its normal channels, taxpayers have the right to get assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they cannot afford to hire a paid service to resolve their problem.

Information about the other eight basic taxpayer rights can be found in previous Tax Defense Network blog posts.

The IRS will promote the Taxpayer Bill of Rights through its publications and other correspondences. They will also put up posters and signs in the coming months in their public offices so that more and more taxpayers see them and get to know their rights.

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