By Jane M. Winand, Legal Assistance Attorney
Taxpayers have certain rights and protections as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains the following 10 provisions:
1. The Right To Be Informed
Taxpayers will be informed about what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. This includes clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices and correspondence.
Taxpayers will be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and will receive clear explanations of all outcomes.
2. The Right To Quality Service
Taxpayers will receive prompt, courteous and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, spoken to in a way they can easily understand, and receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS.
Taxpayers also may speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.
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 due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.
4. The Right To Challenge The IRS Position And Be Heard
Taxpayers may raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to proposed and formal IRS actions. The IRS will promptly and fairly consider their timely objections and documentation, and issue a response to the taxpayer if the IRS does not agree.
5. The Right To Appeal An IRS Decision In An Independent Forum
Taxpayers are entitled to not only a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, but also the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals decision.
In addition, taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.
6. The Right To Finality
Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS position; the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt; and the date that the IRS has completed an audit.
7. The Right To Privacy
Every IRS inquiry, examination or enforcement action will comply with the law, be no more intrusive than necessary, and respect all due process rights including search and seizure protections.
Where applicable by law, a collection due-process hearing also will be held.
8. The Right To Confidentiality
All information provided to the IRS by a taxpayer will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. Appropriate action will be taken against employees, tax return preparers and others who wrongfully use or disclose taxpayer return information.
9. The Right To Retain Representation
Taxpayers can retain an authorized representative of their choice to advocate on their behalf with the IRS. Taxpayers who cannot afford to hire a representative may seek assistance from a low-income taxpayer clinic.
10. The Right To A Fair And Just Tax System
All facts and circumstances affecting a taxpayer’s underlying liability, ability to pay or ability to provide information will be considered.
Taxpayers can obtain help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and in a timely fashion.
The Fort Meade Joint Installation Tax Center provides free federal and state income tax return preparation and electronic filing for service members, retirees and family members.
Preparers are trained by IRS instructors and are fully versed in the unique tax issues faced by the military.
Should an issue arise concerning a federal income tax return that has been filed, the taxpayer has certain rights and protections as defined by the IRS.
The Tax Center is located at 4217 Morrison St. on the first floor of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate.
To schedule an appointment, call the Tax Center at 301-677-9366.