Your rights as a taxpayer are a cornerstone of the U.S. tax system, providing you with important protections when interacting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Understanding these rights is essential for anyone facing tax matters, as they ensure that you are treated fairly, respectfully, and in accordance with the law. In this overview, we’ll outline the key rights you have as a taxpayer when dealing with the IRS.

Understanding Tax Debt

What Is The Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a set of ten fundamental rights that protect and guide taxpayers in their interactions with the IRS in the United States. Enacted by the IRS, these rights are designed to ensure that taxpayers are treated fairly, transparently, and with respect throughout the tax process. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights includes the following rights:

  1. The Right to Be Informed: Taxpayers have the right to understand the tax laws and regulations that apply to them, as well as clear explanations of the IRS’s actions.
  2. The Right to Quality Service: Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance from the IRS and to speak with a supervisor if service is unsatisfactory.
  3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax: Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally owed, with the ability to challenge IRS positions and have their payments applied correctly.
  4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard: Taxpayers have the right to raise objections, provide additional documentation, and appeal decisions made by the IRS in an independent forum.
  5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum: Taxpayers have the right to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including certain penalties.
  6. The Right to Finality: Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit or collect a tax debt, and to have legal certainty regarding their tax obligations.
  7. The Right to Privacy: Taxpayers have the right to expect that their tax information will remain confidential and that unauthorized disclosures will not occur.
  8. The Right to Confidentiality: Taxpayers have the right to expect that their communications with the IRS will remain confidential and will not be used against them.
  9. The Right to Retain Representation: Taxpayers have the right to be represented by a qualified tax professional of their choice, and they can seek assistance from a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.
  10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System: Taxpayers have the right to a tax system that considers all relevant facts and circumstances and ensures that the IRS will do its best to resolve taxpayer issues promptly and fairly.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is an essential resource for taxpayers to understand their rights when dealing with the IRS and to advocate for fair treatment and compliance with the law. It was formally adopted by the IRS in 2014 and serves as a valuable guide for both individuals and businesses in their tax-related matters.

What Is The Taxpayer Advocate Service?

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization operating within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. Its primary mission is to serve as an advocate for taxpayers, assisting them in resolving issues, disputes, and hardships they encounter in their dealings with the IRS. TAS provides a range of services, including helping taxpayers navigate complex tax problems, educating them about their rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, issuing Taxpayer Assistance Orders when necessary, conducting outreach and educational programs, and advocating for improvements in IRS procedures. TAS is particularly valuable for individuals and businesses facing financial difficulties or challenging tax situations and can be a lifeline when standard IRS channels do not lead to satisfactory resolutions.

What Is The Income Limit For A Low Income Taxpayer Clinic?

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics are here to assist people who don’t earn a lot of money and have problems with the IRS. They have some rules about how much money you can make and the size of your tax problem. Usually, the problem can’t involve more than $50,000. The most money you can make to get help from these clinics is about $30,350 if you’re on your own and live in most parts of the United States. If you have a big family of eight, you can earn up to $105,950 in these places. But if you live in Alaska or Hawaii, they allow you to make a bit more money. You can find out all the details about income limits on the IRS website.

What Are Your Rights When You Can’t Pay Your Taxes?

When you’re unable to pay your taxes in full, you still have rights and options to address your tax debt. Here are some of your rights and what you can do when you can’t pay your taxes:

  1. Right to Request an Extension: You have the right to request an extension of time to pay your taxes. The IRS may grant you additional time to pay your tax bill, usually up to 120 days, depending on your circumstances.
  2. Right to Set Up an Installment Agreement: If you can’t pay your taxes in full, you can request an installment agreement. This allows you to make monthly payments over time until your debt is paid off. The IRS offers various types of installment agreements, depending on the amount you owe.
  3. Right to Make an Offer in Compromise: In some cases, the IRS may accept an Offer in Compromise (OIC), which allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. This option is available if paying your full tax liability would cause financial hardship.
  4. Right to Temporarily Delay Collection: If you’re facing financial hardship, the IRS may temporarily delay collection efforts through a process called “currently not collectible” (CNC). During this period, the IRS will not pursue collection actions, but interest and penalties continue to accrue.
  5. Right to Challenge Incorrect Assessments: If you believe the IRS has made an incorrect assessment of your tax liability, you have the right to challenge it through the appeals process.
  6. Right to Seek Professional Assistance: You can seek help from a qualified tax professional to navigate your options and negotiate with the IRS on your behalf.
  7. Right to Privacy: The IRS must keep your financial information confidential and not disclose it to unauthorized parties.
  8. Right to Be Treated Fairly: You have the right to be treated fairly and respectfully by the IRS. They should not use aggressive or abusive tactics when collecting taxes.
  9. Right to Appeal Collection Actions: If the IRS takes collection actions, such as placing a lien on your property or garnishing your wages, you have the right to appeal these actions.
  10. Right to Legal Recourse: If you believe the IRS has violated your rights, you can take legal action and sue the IRS in federal court for a remedy.

It’s important to be proactive when you can’t pay your taxes, as ignoring the issue can lead to additional penalties and interest.

Can The IRS Seize Your Property Without Due Process?

No, the IRS cannot seize your property without due process. In the United States, citizens are protected by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees due process rights when it comes to property seizures. This means that before the IRS can take your property as part of their tax collection efforts, they must follow specific legal procedures. These procedures include providing you with proper notice, offering opportunities for appeals and hearings, and ensuring that you have a chance to address your tax debt or negotiate a resolution. Property seizure is considered a last resort by the IRS, and they are required to respect your due process rights throughout the collection process, allowing you to present your case and explore options to settle your tax debt without the loss of property.

What Are Your Rights When You’re In Collections With The IRS?

When you’re in collections with the IRS, you still have rights that are protected by law. These rights include the right to be treated fairly and respectfully, the right to privacy, and the right to due process. You have the right to receive clear and understandable explanations of the IRS’s actions, as well as your rights and responsibilities as a taxpayer. You can challenge the IRS’s position, appeal decisions, and request a collection due process hearing to explore alternative solutions for your tax debt. Additionally, you have the right to seek professional assistance and representation to help you navigate the often complex collection process. Understanding your rights when in collections with the IRS is crucial, as it empowers you to assert your interests, protect your financial well-being, and work towards resolving your tax issues.

What Are Your Rights When There’s A Tax Lien Against Your Home? 

When there’s a tax lien on your property, it’s not the same as a levy when the IRS takes your property away. Instead, it’s like the IRS saying, “Hey, if you sell this property, you have to pay your unpaid taxes.” They can only do this after a specific process. First, they’ll send you a bill for the taxes you owe. If you don’t pay the bill on time or set up a payment plan, the IRS can put a tax lien on your property, and they usually let others know about it by recording a notice in public records. You’ll get a notice about this within five days, and it will tell you that you have the right to request a hearing with the IRS Office of Appeals.

In Need Of Tax Relief?

At CuraDebt Tax, we have a team of tax professionals who are able to find the best IRS resolution available to you. Contact us to better understand your tax problems and to choose the best IRS resolution option. CuraDebt has been helping individuals and small businesses for over 22 years nationwide. As of May 2023 CuraDebt received a score of 5 out of 5 on CustomerLobby for a total of 1179 customer views. CuraDebt is an Accredited Member of the American Fair Credit Council. Contact us for a free consultation. 1-877-999-0486. Take advantage of exploring another option for free. Not only do we handle tax relief, we also offer debt relief.

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