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In an IRS investigation, what are my taxpayers' rights?

Let's face it: When the mail at your Dallas County home includes a letter from the IRS, it usually means you're under investigation. There is no need to panic, however. The federal tax collector acknowledges that you have rights as a U.S. taxpayer.

Perhaps chief among those rights: you have the right to retain a tax attorney of your choice to represent you in your dealings with the IRS. In many situations, you are not even required to attend meetings with the IRS - you can send your attorney instead.

Your rights include appeals and clarity

Among the most important rights every taxpayer possesses is the right to pay no more than the correct amount of taxes. Seems obvious, of course, but it is worth noting that you are only required to pay taxes that are legally due, plus any interest and penalties.

Other taxpayer rights include the following:

  • The right to challenge the IRS: you have the right to object to the IRS's position and to expect the federal agency to respond in a timely fashion to your position.
  • The right to a fair, impartial appeal: you have the right to appeal most IRS decisions and take your case to court.
  • The right to know what you need to do: you're entitled to clear explanations of IRS procedures and tax laws so that you know what you need to do to be in compliance.

Let's face another hard fact about the IRS: it can be difficult for them to make sense of complex and convoluted tax laws, regulations, paperwork and processes. This returns us to one of your central rights as a taxpayer: the right to qualified, effective representation.

With an experienced, knowledgeable tax attorney at your side, you can be sure of getting clear explanations and aggressive defense of your rights and interests at all times.

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