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What Is The Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

Being in tax debt can be a very stressful situation, as there is no shortcut you can take to avoid them.  The IRS requires every US taxpayer to pay their taxes, and can take extraordinary measures to claim taxes that are owed to them.  Although the IRS can be intimidating, there are federal laws in place to make sure the IRS isn't abusing their power. The "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" was originally enacted in Congress in 1988 to give all U.S. taxpayers equal and fair rights when dealing with the IRS.

Let's break down some of the important aspects of the Bill:

  • Right to be informed. You are entitled to transparent, formal communication from the IRS regarding any delinquent tax issue you may be facing.  This allows you to become educated of your situation and in turn make better decisions in addressing your tax problems.
  • Right to quality service. The IRS must be honest and respectful during any communications you maintain with them.
  • Right to pay the proper amount.  The IRS is required to full disclose every penny that you owe them, and can't require you to pay anything more without proving you owe it.
  • Right to challenge the IRS' opinion.  If you have any disagreements or discrepancies with the IRS in regards to your delinquent taxes, you are entitled to an appeal, and even take your case to tax court to pursue a ruling in your favor.
  • Right to privacy. Any correspondence between you and the IRS is not public information. None of your information can be disclosed unless requested through a court order or determination.
  • Right to retain representation.  This means you can hire a tax attorney or taxpayer advocate to represent you with the IRS. Or, the IRS also offers low income tax clinic where they can assign you a tax advocate for little or no charge, similar to a court-appointed attorney.
  • Right to fair and just tax system. You are entitled to a fair tax system that applies to everyone equally without any discrimination.


Although this is just a small sample size of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, it summarizes some of the most important aspects of the bill.  The bill itself has been amended multiple times since its genesis and will continue to evolve with our ever-changing tax climate.  Remember, you have full right to retain representation such as a tax lawyer or other tax advocate professionals in order to protect your rights and reach an ideal tax settlement with the IRS.  We invite you contact us with any questions regarding your rights with the IRS, and will help formulate a plan to keep you tax compliant.

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