Know Your Rights as a Taxpayer

Whether you file a Form 1040EZ or a complicated corporate return, you will benefit from knowing your rights as a taxpayer and being familiar with the IRS’ obligations to protect them. You have rights as a taxpayer when dealing with the IRS. Eight of most important rights as a taxpayer are listed below.

I. Protection of Your Rights:

IRS employees should explain and protect your rights as a taxpayer throughout your contact with IRS.

II. Privacy and Confidentiality:

The IRS can not disclose to anyone the information you give to them, except as authorized to them by law. You have the right to know why IRS is asking you for information, how IRS will use it, and what happens if you do not provide requested information.

III. Professional and Courteous Service:

If you believe that an IRS employee has not treated you in a professional, fair, and courteous manner, you should tell that employee’s supervisor. If the supervisor’s response is not satisfactory, you should write to the IRS director for your area or the center where you file your return.

IV. Representation:

You may either represent yourself or, with proper written authorization, have someone else represent you in your place. Your representative must be a person allowed to practice before the IRS, such as an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent. If you are in an interview and ask to consult such a person, then IRS must stop and
reschedule the interview in most cases. You can have someone accompany you at an interview. You may make sound recordings of any meetings with examination, appeal, or collection personnel, provided you tell them in writing 10 days before the meeting.

V. Payment of Only the Correct Amount of Tax:

You are responsible for paying only the correct amount of tax due under the law—no more, no less. If you cannot pay all of your tax when it is due, you may be able to make monthly installment payments.

VI. Help With Unresolved Tax Problems:

The Taxpayer Advocate Service can help you if you have tried unsuccessfully to resolve a problem with the IRS. Your local Taxpayer Advocate can offer you special help if you have a significant hardship as a result of a tax problem. For more information, call toll free 1–877–777–4778 (1–800–829–4059 for TTY/TDD) or write to the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS office that last contacted you.

VII. Appeals and Judicial Review:

If you disagree with IRS about the amount of your tax liability or certain collection actions, you have the right to ask the Appeals Office to review your case. You may also ask a court to review your case.

VIII. Relief From Certain Penalties and Interest:

The IRS will waive penalties when allowed by law if you can show you acted reasonably and in good faith or
relied on the incorrect advice of an IRS employee. IRS will waive interest that is the result of certain errors or delays caused by an IRS employee.

Please consult your tax advisor to know your other rights during examination, appeal or collection.

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