IRS releases updated "Taxpayer Bill of Rights"

A new publication from the IRS aims to inform taxpayers of their basic rights when dealing with their taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released a revised Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The document is posted on the agency's website and was sent to homes across the country in thousands of mailings including those sent to taxpayers undergoing an audit or collection matter.

This publication contains ten categories and was designed to increase the number of Americans that understand their basic rights when navigating an array of tax issues. In an effort to help meet this goal, the IRS is releasing the publication in a variety of languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese.

The IRS explained in a recent press release that these rights are core concepts that have always been present for taxpayers. However, this publication is designed to put these already established rights into a more user friendly format. A recent article in Forbes notes that previous versions of this bill were released in the nineties and passed by Congress. This publication is unique, as it was designed and adopted by the IRS.

More on the fundamental rights of taxpayers

According to an IRS Special Edition Tax Tip released on December 22, 2014, the following rights are fundamental for every taxpayer:

  • Information. Every taxpayer has a right to be informed. Taxpayers should have the information they need to understand tax laws and procedures and to receive a clear explanation of IRS decisions about their tax accounts.
  • Quality. Every taxpayer has a right to quality service. Taxpayers should be treated promptly and with courtesy in their dealings with the IRS.
  • Challenge. Every taxpayer has a right to challenge the IRS's determination. Objections can be raised to actions proposed by the IRS.
  • Appeal. Every taxpayer has the right to appeal most IRS decisions. This right extends to penalties issued by the agency and can include the right to take the case to court.
  • Representation. Taxpayers also have the fundamental right to obtain representation of their choice to assist in dealings with the IRS.

These are just a sampling of the ten listed rights on the IRS website.

Legal counsel can help

Although taxpayers have the right to challenge and appeal decisions made by the IRS, actually moving forward can be an arduous and difficult process. As a result, those who find themselves going through an audit or receiving an unfair IRS determination are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced tax attorney.

Keywords: tax law

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