IRS adopts 'Taxpayer Bill of Rights'

IRS adopts 'Taxpayer Bill of Rights'

The IRS announced on Tuesday a list of ten clear taxpayer rights on their website.

The Internal Revenue Service announced the introduction of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights on Tuesday in the hopes of better educating taxpayers about their rights regarding the agency.

“Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS,” states the Internal Revenue Service website, followed by 10 rights of U.S. taxpayers.

The Internal Revenue Service hopes the 10 rights will clear up confusion for taxpayers by clearly announcing them on the Internal Revenue Service website and simplifying them into a more understandable format. The 10 rights include the right to be informed, to quality service, to pay no more than the correct amount of tax, to challenge the Internal Revenue Service’s position, to appeal an Internal Revenue Service decision in an independent forum, to finality, to privacy, to confidentiality, to retain representation, and to a fair and just tax system.

Congress has already passed a taxpayer bill of rights, but this marks the first time the Internal Revenue Service will embed the rights into their service for taxpayers to clearly understand.

“Respecting taxpayer rights continues to be a top priority for IRS employees,” said Internal Revenue Service commissioner John A. Koskinen in a statement, “and the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights summarizes these important protections in a clearer, more understandable format than ever before.”

Although the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a step forward in taxpayers’ understanding of the Internal Revenue Service, some maintain worries about the effectiveness of such rights beyond awareness.

“The question I still have is, what is going to be the enforcement mechanism?” said Christopher Rizek, a former Treasury Department lawyer with a history of working on taxpayer rights.

Both the Internal Revenue Service and taxpayer advocate Nina Olson are urging Congress for further support on this issue, but the rights are a first step in the right direction.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights will be sent to millions of U.S. taxpayers throughout the year as they receive communication from the Internal Revenue Service.

A detailed explanation of the rights can be found on the Internal Revenue Service’s website.


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