[This article is the second in a series of articles covering the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.]
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a cornerstone document that highlights the fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers and regularly reminds its employees about these rights as it makes communication with taxpayers more effective. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.
As stated on the IRS website, “Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.”
This Taxpayer Bill of Rights includes “The Right to Quality Service”.
What you can expect:
- You can find answers to most tax questions on IRS.gov. If you cannot find an answer to your tax issue on the IRS website or in published instructions, please contact the IRS for help. IRS representatives care about the quality of the service provided to you and are available to help. Here are some things to consider when contacting the IRS.
- The IRS provides a contact phone number on the top right corner of the notice or letter.
- IRS representatives should listen objectively and consider all relevant information.
- They should answer questions promptly, accurately and thoroughly.
- Generally, you can speak to an employee’s supervisor if you have a problem.
- When collecting tax, the IRS should treat you with courtesy. Generally, the IRS should only contact you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. The IRS should not contact you at your place of employment if the IRS knows or has reason to know that your employer does not allow such contacts. Be mindful of tax scams. Remember, the IRS does not make aggressive phone calls that threaten arrest or prison.
- The IRS must include information about your right to get help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service in all statutory notices of deficiency. It should tell you how to contact TAS.
- If you are eligible for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) assistance, the IRS may provide information about your options for legal help.
The IRS can be very helpful in providing information. But, often taxpayers can have trouble determining their options from the provided information and can often find the assistance of a tax attorney of considerable value. If that is the case for you, please contact our office to learn how we can help empower you as a taxpayer.