Tax Payer Rights


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Includes a description on the rights of the tax payer.

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Tax Payer Rights

  1. 1. Your Rights as a IRS Taxpayer Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Publication 1 (Rev. May 2005) The first part of this publication explains some of your most important rights as a Catalog Number 64731W taxpayer. The second part explains the examination, appeal, collection, and refund processes. This publication is also available in Spanish. Declaration of Taxpayer Rights I. Protection of Your Rights V. Payment of Only the Correct Amount of Tax IRS employees will explain and protect your rights as a taxpayer throughout your You are responsible for paying only the contact with us. 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 II. Privacy and able to make monthly installment Confidentiality payments. The IRS will not disclose to anyone the VI. Help With Unresolved information you give us, except as authorized by law. You have the right to Tax Problems know why we are asking you for information, how we will use it, and what The Taxpayer Advocate Service can help happens if you do not provide requested THE IRS MISSION you if you have tried unsuccessfully to information. resolve a problem with the IRS. Your local Taxpayer Advocate can offer you PROVIDE AMERICA’S special help if you have a significant III. Professional and hardship as a result of a tax problem. TAXPAYERS TOP QUALITY Courteous Service For more information, call toll free 1–877–777–4778 (1–800–829–4059 for SERVICE BY HELPING THEM TTY/TDD) or write to the Taxpayer If you believe that an IRS employee has UNDERSTAND AND MEET Advocate at the IRS office that last not treated you in a professional, fair, and contacted you. courteous manner, you should tell that THEIR TAX RESPONSIBILITIES employee’s supervisor. If the supervisor’s response is not satisfactory, you should AND BY APPLYING THE TAX write to the IRS director for your area or VII. Appeals and Judicial the center where you file your return. LAW WITH INTEGRITY AND Review FAIRNESS TO ALL. IV. Representation If you disagree with us about the amount of your tax liability or certain collection You may either represent yourself or, actions, you have the right to ask the with proper written authorization, have Appeals Office to review your case. You someone else represent you in your may also ask a court to review your case. place. Your representative must be a person allowed to practice before the IRS, such as an attorney, certified public VIII. Relief From Certain accountant, or enrolled agent. If you are Penalties and Interest in an interview and ask to consult such a person, then we must stop and The IRS will waive penalties when reschedule the interview in most cases. allowed by law if you can show you acted reasonably and in good faith or You can have someone accompany you relied on the incorrect advice of an IRS at an interview. You may make sound employee. We will waive interest that is recordings of any meetings with our the result of certain errors or delays examination, appeal, or collection caused by an IRS employee. personnel, provided you tell us in writing 10 days before the meeting.
  2. 2. on which the IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you. For example, the Examinations, Appeals, Collections, two-year period for filing your claim may start if the IRS applies your tax refund and Refunds from one year to the taxes that you and your spouse owe for another year. For more information on innocent spouse we can see if we should discontinue the Examinations (Audits) relief, see Publication 971, Innocent examination. Spouse Relief, and Form 8857. We accept most taxpayers’ returns as filed. If we inquire about your return or Appeals Potential Third Party select it for examination, it does not If you do not agree with the examiner’s Contacts suggest that you are dishonest. The proposed changes, you can appeal them inquiry or examination may or may not Generally, the IRS will deal directly with to the Appeals Office of IRS. Most result in more tax. We may close your you or your duly authorized differences can be settled without case without change; or, you may receive representative. However, we sometimes expensive and time-consuming court a refund. talk with other persons if we need trials. Your appeal rights are explained in The process of selecting a return for information that you have been unable to detail in both Publication 5, Your Appeal examination usually begins in one of two provide, or to verify information we have Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If ways. First, we use computer programs to received. If we do contact other persons, You Don’t Agree, and Publication 556, identify returns that may have incorrect such as a neighbor, bank, employer, or Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, amounts. These programs may be based employees, we will generally need to tell and Claims for Refund. on information returns, such as Forms them limited information, such as your If you do not wish to use the Appeals 1099 and W-2, on studies of past name. The law prohibits us from Office or disagree with its findings, you examinations, or on certain issues disclosing any more information than is may be able to take your case to the U.S. identified by compliance projects. necessary to obtain or verify the Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Second, we use information from outside information we are seeking. Our need to or the U.S. District Court where you live. If sources that indicates that a return may contact other persons may continue as you take your case to court, the IRS will have incorrect amounts. These sources long as there is activity in your case. If we have the burden of proving certain facts if may include newspapers, public records, do contact other persons, you have a right you kept adequate records to show your and individuals. If we determine that the to request a list of those contacted. tax liability, cooperated with the IRS, and information is accurate and reliable, we meet certain other conditions. If the court may use it to select a return for Refunds agrees with you on most issues in your examination. case and finds that our position was You may file a claim for refund if you think Publication 556, Examination of largely unjustified, you may be able to you paid too much tax. You must Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for recover some of your administrative and generally file the claim within 3 years from Refund, explains the rules and procedures litigation costs. You will not be eligible to the date you filed your original return or 2 that we follow in examinations. The recover these costs unless you tried to years from the date you paid the tax, following sections give an overview of resolve your case administratively, whichever is later. The law generally how we conduct examinations. including going through the appeals provides for interest on your refund if it is system, and you gave us the information not paid within 45 days of the date you By Mail necessary to resolve the case. filed your return or claim for refund. We handle many examinations and Publication 556, Examination of Returns, inquiries by mail. We will send you a letter Collections Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund, has with either a request for more information more information on refunds. Publication 594, The IRS Collection or a reason why we believe a change to If you were due a refund but you did not Process, explains your rights and your return may be needed. You can file a return, you generally must file your responsibilities regarding payment of respond by mail or you can request a return within 3 years from the date the federal taxes. It describes: personal interview with an examiner. If you return was due (including extensions) to ● What to do when you owe taxes. It mail us the requested information or get that refund. provide an explanation, we may or may describes what to do if you get a tax Tax Information not agree with you, and we will explain the bill and what to do if you think your bill reasons for any changes. Please do not is wrong. It also covers making The IRS provides the following sources hesitate to write to us about anything you installment payments, delaying for forms, publications, and additional do not understand. collection action, and submitting an information. offer in compromise. ● Tax Questions: 1–800–829–1040 By Interview ● IRS collection actions. It covers liens, (1–800–829–4059 for TTY/TDD) If we notify you that we will conduct your releasing a lien, levies, releasing a ● Forms and Publications: examination through a personal interview, levy, seizures and sales, and release 1–800–829–3676 (1–800–829–4059 or you request such an interview, you of property. for TTY/TDD) have the right to ask that the examination Your collection appeal rights are ● Internet: take place at a reasonable time and place explained in detail in Publication 1660, that is convenient for both you and the ● Small Business Ombudsman: A Collection Appeal Rights. IRS. If our examiner proposes any small business entity can participate changes to your return, he or she will Innocent Spouse Relief in the regulatory process and explain the reasons for the changes. If you comment on enforcement actions of Generally, both you and your spouse are do not agree with these changes, you can IRS by calling 1-888-REG-FAIR. each responsible for paying the full meet with the examiner’s supervisor. ● Treasury Inspector General for Tax amount of tax, interest, and penalties due on your joint return. However, if you Administration: You can Repeat Examinations qualify for innocent spouse relief, you may confidentially report misconduct, If we examined your return for the same be relieved of part or all of the joint waste, fraud, or abuse by an IRS items in either of the 2 previous years and liability. To request relief, you must file employee by calling 1–800–366–4484 proposed no change to your tax liability, Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse (1–800–877–8339 for TTY/TDD). You please contact us as soon as possible so Relief no later than 2 years after the date can remain anonymous. Printed on recycled paper