On Tuesday, June 10th, the IRS released a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights”. The bill of rights was announced at the IRS headquarters in Washington, and is aimed at better communicating taxpayers’ existing administrative and statutory protections to the public. The Taxpayer Advocate Service conducted a survey in 2012, which resulted in 46% of taxpayers trusting they had rights before the IRS, and only 11% of those taxpayers knowing what those rights entailed.
The rights include:
- The right to be informed;
- The right to receive quality service;
- The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax;
- The right to challenge the IRS’s position and to be heard;
- The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum;
- The right to finality (e.g., to know the maximum time for challenging an IRS position, for being audited, or when an audit is finished);
- The right to privacy (e.g., IRS compliance with laws and respect for due process in inquiries, examinations, enforcements, etc.);
- The right to confidentiality of information provided to the IRS;
- The right to retain representation; and
- The right to a fair and just tax system.
Publishing a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” has been recommended to Congress since 2007. It has yet to reach the floor of the Senate. However, the Taxpayer Advocate Service recognized that the lack of a bill of rights has become a very serious problem – one that affects all US taxpayers. As a result, the IRS was called upon to adopt the bill of rights administratively. The rights will be displayed in public IRS offices and will be distributed and communicated to all IRS employees.
If you have questions about your taxpayer rights, please feel free to contact your Keiter representative.