“You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law; you have the right to an attorney…” You hardly have to have a police badge to know these rights by heart. But, did you know that, as a taxpayer, you have tax-specific rights with which the IRS must legally comply? In order to follow these laws, the IRS has taken the multiple existing rights embedded in the tax code and grouped them into ten broad categories known as Publication 1 or the Taxpayer Bill of Rights:
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. Explore your rights and the obligations in place to protect them.
- The Right to be Informed: You have the right to know anything about the laws and procedures the IRS must follow when it comes to your taxes.
- The Right to Quality Service: You have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance when you deal with the IRS.
- The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax: You are only required to pay the amount of tax legally due (this does include interest and penalties), and the IRS must apply your tax payments properly.
- The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard: If you feel that your taxes haven’t been handled properly, you have the right to raise objections, which the IRS must consider and respond to promptly and fairly.
- The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum: If you make an appeal with the IRS, you have the right to have your case reviewed and handled by a separate IRS Office of Appeals than the one that initially reviewed your case. You also have the right to take your case to court if needed.
- The Right to Finality: So that everything is handled in a timely manner, the IRS must inform you of the maximum amount of time any tax situation might take (including audits and collection deadlines).
- The Right to Privacy: If you become subject to an IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action, the IRS can be no more intrusive than legally necessary to protect your right to privacy.
- The Right to Confidentiality: Your rights protect your personal information, so the IRS cannot disclose any of it unless authorized by you or by the law.
- The Right to Retain Representation: You have the right to an authorized representative of your choice when dealing with the IRS and, if you cannot afford it, assistance will be provided from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
- The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System: You have the right to expect that the tax system will consider facts and circumstances that might affect your underlying liabilities and ability to pay or provide information timely. The Taxpayer Advocate Service will assist you if you’re going through some financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through its normal channels.
Now… Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you? By making information about these rights available to taxpayers (there are even Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese versions), the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. After all, as Amendment One says: You have the right to be informed.
We at ExpressExtension know and respect your rights, and we’re here to help you exercise your right to more time! Okay, so that’s not really what the amendment says, but we do support e-filing of extensions for individuals, businesses, and exempt organizations to help get you up to 6 months extra to file your taxes.
For any questions or further assistance with extensions or e-filing, contact our live, friendly support team by phone at (803) 514-5155 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST), email at [email protected], or live chat at www.expressextension.com.