- Carlos Fraser, E.A.
Tax Resolution - Know Your Rights.
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
If you owe IRS back taxes or the current filing season do not panic, you have rights. Just like the United States bill of rights the IRS has an equivalent bill of rights.
We at Taxko stress that if you owe you should explore your rights and our obligations to protect them.
1. The Right to Be Informed 2. The Right to Quality Service 3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax 4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard 5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum 6. The Right to Finality 7. The Right to Privacy 8. The Right to Confidentiality 9. The Right to Retain Representation 10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System
If you owe the taxes you have the right to know how much you owe, including penalties, interest, and how they are calculated. And you have the right to get notices BEFORE, the IRS takes any collection action such as Levy, liens, and garnishments.
The IRS will issue notices or letters if they disallow credits and deductions or make any changes to your tax account.
You can use the IRS Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter tool to search & understand your notice. The IRS has notice (CP) or letter (LTR) numbers on either the top or the bottom right-hand corner of your correspondence to make it searchable.
You have the right to receive quick, polite, and expert support in your dealings with the IRS, to be spoken in a language you understand, to receive clear and easily communications from the IRS, and if not satisfied you have the right to speak to a supervisor about insufficient service.
All IRS notices will have an address and number to contact for questions.
IRS can only contact you by phone between 8am-9pm, never at work, and unlike scams they do not ask you to pay over the phone.
If you cannot afford to hire a tax professional one can be appointed to represent you via a local tax clinic or the taxpayer advocate. (If you qualify based on income and other factors).
The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax:
You have the right to pay only the amount of tax legitimately due, including interest and penalties.
You have the right to request your taxes & penalties be reduced if repayment causes an undue hardship.
You have the right to request abatement of penalties for reasonable cause or first-time instance of that cased the penalty.
You have the right to request that the IRS remove any interest from your account caused by unreasonable IRS errors or delays.
You have the right to submit an offer in compromise of your tax debt by asking the IRS to accept less than the full amount if you believe you do not owe all or part of the tax debt.
You have the right to enter into a payment plan with the IRS. The IRS must send you an annual statement that provides the beginning balance, how much you paid during the year, and how much you still owe at the end of the year.
The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard:
You have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider your timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with your position.
You have the right to appeal and STOP any IRS 1st enforcement action to collect a tax debt by levying your bank account and filing liens on assets.
You have the right to submit documentation or raise objections during an examination, and if IRS does not agree with your position, it will issue a notice explaining why it is increasing your tax, which gives you the right to a final appeal with the U.S. Tax Court prior to paying the tax.
You have the right with an opportunity for a hearing before an independent IRS Appeals/Settlement Officer. At that hearing, you can raise alternatives to the IRS’s collection action and may even be able to challenge whether you actually owe the tax. If you disagree with Appeals’ determination, you have the right can go to U.S. Tax Court prior to paying the tax.
The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum:
You have the right to a fair and independent administrative appeal of most IRS decisions & penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the decision.
You have the right to take your cases to U.S. Tax court.
The Right to Finality:
You have the right to know the maximum amount of time to challenge a IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt and when the IRS has finished an audit.
You have the right that once you file your tax return the IRS generally has three years from the date your return was filed to assess an additional tax. There are some limited exceptions to the 3-year rule, such as not filing a return or filing a fraudulent return.
You have the right that if you are assessed a tax the IRS generally has ten years from the assessment date to collect unpaid taxes from you. However, there are a number of circumstances where the ten-year collection period may be suspended, such as bankruptcy, collection due process proceeding, or an offer in compromise is pending.
You have the right to have the IRS consider whether a lien or levy filing balances the government’s need for the efficient collection of taxes with your legitimate concern that the IRS’s collection actions are intrusive than necessary.
You have the right that if your wages are levied a portion of wages equivalent to the standard deduction combined with any deductions for personal exemptions is protected from levy.
You have the right that the IRS cannot seize your personal residence, including a residence used as a principal residence by your spouse, former spouse, or minor child, without first getting court approval, and it must show there is no reasonable alternative for collecting the tax debt from you.
You have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by you or by law.
You have the right that if a tax return preparer discloses or uses your tax information for any purpose other than for tax preparation, the preparer may be subject to civil penalties. If the disclosure or improper use is done knowingly or recklessly, the preparer may also be subject to criminal fines and imprisonment.
You have the right that communications between you and an attorney with respect to legal advice the attorney gives you are generally privileged. A similar privilege applies to tax advice you receive from certified public accountant & enrolled agent, but only to the extent that the communication between you and that individual would be privileged if it had been between you and an attorney.
You have the right that the IRS cannot contact third parties, e.g., your employer, neighbors, or bank, to obtain information about correcting or collecting your tax liability unless it provides you with reasonable notice in advance.
The Right to Retain Representation:
You have the right to retain an authorized representative of your choice to represent you in your dealings with the IRS. You have the right to seek assistance from a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic if you cannot afford representation.
You have the right that the IRS must suspend an interview with you if you request to consult with a representative, such as an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent.
You have the right that the IRS cannot require that you attend meeting with your representative, unless it formally summons you to appear.
The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System:
You have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect the underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely.
You have the right that If you have acted with reasonable care you may be entitled to relief from certain penalties. Additionally, if you have a reasonable basis for taking a particular tax position, such as a position on your return or a claim for refund, you may be entitled to relief from certain penalties. Reliance on the advice of a tax professional can in certain circumstances represent reasonable cause for the abatement of certain penalties.
You have the right that the IRS must release all or part of a levy and notify the person upon whom the levy was made if one certain situations exist.