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Tax disputes and you: Five fundamental rights

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2017 | Internal Revenue Service, Tax Controversies, Tax Crimes

The phrase “fundamental rights” likely evokes images of civil rights marches and women’s rights protests. The term is not likely to create images of tax forms, but maybe it should.

As a taxpayer, you have certain fundamental rights. These rights are beneficial for everyone, but are of particular importance for those who face a tax dispute or other issue with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Five examples of these rights include:

  • Information. As noted in a publication of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights on the IRS website, taxpayers have the right to be fully informed of decisions made by the IRS that affects their accounts.
  • Challenge. Taxpayers are not required to simply comply with decisions made by the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to formally challenge these decisions. The IRS is expected to consider a formal objection and respond accordingly.
  • Independent review. In addition to challenging decisions made by the IRS, taxpayers also have the right to take their challenge to an independent review. This can include taking a case to court.
  • Time limit. It is also important to note that there is a time limit to tax proceedings. This can be both beneficial and detrimental to taxpayers. The IRS generally cannot go after tax issues that span back a certain period of time. However, those with a dispute against the IRS must be prompt when addressing the issue or the ability to seek remediation could lapse.
  • Legal counsel. Taxpayers also have the right to seek legal counsel to represent their interests in matters involving the IRS.

These are just a few of the rights that taxpayers are granted. These rights should be present regardless of the dispute at issue.

What if my rights as a taxpayer are not upheld?

Taxpayers that believe the IRS is wrongly accusing them of violating tax law should take such allegations seriously. Whether subject to an audit or a collection case, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced tax defense lawyer to better ensure your interests are protected.


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