Posted by Carmen Garcia

Taxpayer Rights

Taxpayer Rights

Most taxpayers are only concerned with completing the filing process as quickly and easily as possible. That being said, when it comes to answering each question, please think carefully about each answer you provide to make sure it is correct. This will help protect you from issues between you and the IRS.

If you have an issue after filing your taxes, know that you have certain rights. The hope in this regard is that by treating each person with fairness, promptness, courtesy, and professionalism, they will continue to believe in the US tax system's integrity, efficiency, and fairness.

The IRS guarantees taxpayers the right to information and assistance per tax laws. It goes beyond providing instructions on the forms. They have also published over 100 free informative publications, a catalog with all the free services it offers.

You may have to pay a small fee to access copies of previous statements. However, if you only need certain information, such as the amount of income reported, the number of exemptions, or taxes owed, the IRS should disclose it over the phone or written request.

Below is a run-down of your basic human rights.

Your privacy

The taxpayer has the right to keep all financial and personal information confidential. Whenever you are asked to provide information, you also have the right to ask why, who will see it, how it will be used and what will happen if it is not provided. By law, the information you provide may be shared with state agencies, the Department of Justice, and other federal agencies per strict legal guidelines. In some cases, it may also be shared with foreign governments under specific treaty provisions, but this is not common.

Fairness In Return

Computer programs are now used to try to distinguish between deviations, inconsistencies, and completely incorrect values. In addition to speeding up response times, they should also help eliminate human tendencies.


You can represent yourself or, with written permission, have someone else represent you on your behalf. The representative must be licensed to practice with the IRS (a lawyer, chartered accountant, or registered agent). If you are invited to an interview, you can ask to see this person. You may have someone who does not represent you to accompany you during the interview. You can also make audio recordings of any meeting related to a review, call, or compilation.


When the IRS decides to make changes to your return, it must fully explain the reasons for the changes. Do not hesitate to ask for anything that is not clear to you.

Interest in the event of an error

The IRS should waive fines and interest when you have relied on incorrect information from one of your employees and can prove that you acted reasonably and in good faith.

Refund of excess taxes paid

You must pay the bill on time, but if you believe you have overpaid, you have the right to request reimbursement for what you believe has been overpaid. To receive a refund of the additional payment, you must submit a refund request within three years from the date you submitted it or within two years from the date of payment, with which you will have the same rights only during the initial examination.

Interest on refund

When the refund is delayed by procedural or mechanical documents that do not involve the exercise of judgment for more than 45 days from the date you placed the order or the expiration date of the return (depending on the more recent of the two), you are entitled to accrued interest. The same is true if an examiner determines that you owe additional fees. In this case, you will have to pay interest on the amount from the original due date.


You have the right to appeal any action taken against you. To do this, contact the IRS appeal office. If you do not wish to use the appeals office or do not agree with your position, you can apply to the United States Tax Court, United States Federal Court of Complaints, or the United States' court district where you live.

If you take the case to court, the IRS will have the burden of proof, which means it has to prove certain facts. NEVER use the appeals system to cause a delay; if your position is considered "frivolous" and "unfounded," you could be fined up to $25,000.

If the court agrees with you on most of the points in dispute, you may be able to recover some of your legal and administrative costs. These costs can only be eliminated if you have tried to resolve the administrative case, which means that you have tried to use the appeal system and have not resolved it, even though you have provided the IRS with the necessary information to do so.

Fair collection

If you owe taxes, the IRS will send you an invoice. You have the right to resolve it if the value is incorrect. If you are told that you must do this because of your miscalculation, you have the right to request a "Notice of deficiency" so that you can initiate a dispute (as stated above). The additional tax does not have to be paid immediately if you request notification within 60 days of becoming aware of the error.

The IRS is also required to provide payment methods to those who qualify. Coercive action can only be used after all copies have been exhausted or if a filer refuses to comply.

As with all government entities, the IRS has an equal rights policy and does not tolerate discrimination. This includes its employees, beneficiaries, contractors, and/or sub-contractors, regardless of race, gender, nationality, age, or any other segmentation.

It is always best to understand your rights and what is granted to all taxpayers if a problem arises and you need to resolve it with the IRS.



Carmen Garcia
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