IRS publication outlines taxpayer rights

The IRS has released a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” intended to better communicate to taxpayers their existing statutory and administrative protections.

The IRS incorporated the rights into a new version of Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, which accompanies IRS correspondence with taxpayers.

The rights are:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right to receive quality service
  • The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax
  • The right to challenge the IRS’s position and to be heard
  • The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum
  • The right to finality – for example, to know the time allowed for challenging an IRS position, to know the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a specific tax year or collect a tax debt, or to know when an audit is finished
  • The right to privacy – for example, IRS compliance with laws and respect for due process in inquiries, examinations and enforcements
  • The right to confidentiality of information provided to the IRS
  • The right to retain representation
  • The right to a fair and just tax system

A survey by the Taxpayer Advocate Service in 2012 found that only 46 percent of U.S. taxpayers believed they had rights before the IRS, and only 11 percent knew what those rights were.