About 8 years ago, the IRS adopted a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. There are ten of them — like the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution –, but these rights are to help you and your tax professional deal with the IRS.


1. You have the right to be informed. You’re entitled to clear explanations of the law and IRS procedures and explanations of IRS decisions and outcomes. 

2. You have the right to quality service. This means you have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance. I wonder how many of us feel this right has been violated when we wait two or three hours on the phone? 

3. You have the right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax. If you’re entitled to a deduction — take it. 

4. You have the right to challenge the IRS and to be heard. The IRS must consider timely objections with proper documentation. 

5. You have the right to appeal an IRS Decision in an independent forum. There is a tax court. 

6. You have the right to finality. The IRS has to tell you when it is done with an audit, for example. 

7. You have the right to privacy. There are limits on what the IRS can do. 

8. You have the right to confidentiality. IRS employees, for example, can’t talk about your case. 

9. You have the right to representation. Yes, you can have a lawyer or tax professional represent you. 

10. You have the right to a fair and just system. This might be the most important because taxpayers have the right to expect the system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect their liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide timely information. You also have a right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

What The Bill of Rights Means To You 

Here’s what the Taxpayer Bill of Rights means to you. If you cannot pay your tax debt in full and you meet certain conditions, you can enter into a payment plan. You may request that any amount be eliminated if it exceeds the correct amount due or if it was assessed after the time period allowed by law. You could request the removal of interest from your account if the IRS caused delays. If you have physical or mental limitations, the IRS may have to refund payments you shouldn’t have paid. You have a right to be excused from certain penalties for errors that are not your fault. You have the right to submit an Offer In Compromise request. You are entitled to keep part of your pay for basic living expenses. Low-Income Taxpayers are entitled to help to file their returns. And you can appeal IRS decisions to the U. S. Tax Court.