In the course of our daily tax resolution services work, we are continually fighting to protect the assets and rights of our tax resolution clients. So it’s with applause to the IRS in their recent unveiling of an updated Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
This Bill of Rights takes the various existing rights embedded in the tax code and simplifies them into ten categories, in an effort to make them easier for taxpayers to understand and easier for use.
“The Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains fundamental information to help taxpayers,” said Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John A. Koskinen.
The IRS released the Taxpayer Bill of Rights was impacted by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which is an independent office inside the IRS that strives to represent taxpayer interests. We often deal with the Taxpayer Advocate Service in the course of executing tax resolution services on the behalf of clients, when, for example, a revenue agent has strayed from proper procedure.
The tax code includes numerous taxpayer rights, but they are unorganized, making it difficult for people to find and comprehend. Similar to the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains 10 provisions. They are:
- The Right to Be Informed
- The Right to Quality Service
- The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
- The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
- The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
- The Right to Finality
- The Right to Privacy
- The Right to Confidentiality
- The Right to Retain Representation
- The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System
The rights have been incorporated into a redesigned version of Publication 1, a document that is routinely included in IRS correspondence with taxpayers. Millions of these mailings go out each year. The new version has been added to IRS.gov, and print copies will start being included in IRS correspondence in the near future.
In summary, this taxpayer bill of rights is a boon to the tax payer and will allow us to be even more effective in our communication to clients about their rights and options in the course of providing tax resolution services.