What are the greatest fears? Some say public speaking is the greatest fear. Others say proposing marriage is the greatest fear. But all of us say facing the IRS in an audit or when we need help with our tax debt is a fear — and a big one if not the greatest of all fears. Luckily, you don’t have to face the IRS alone. Even in an audit, you don’t have to face the IRS alone. In fact, you don’t have to face the IRS at all because IRS regulations allow you to have someone deal with the IRS on your behalf.
WHAT THE IRS SAYS ABOUT HAVING A REPRESENTATIVE
The IRS says “taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them when they are dealing with the IRS.” Yep, there it is straight from the IRS. You can have a representative to do the talking for you.
If you can’t pay for a representative the IRS says you have the right to seek assistance from a low income taxpayer clinic. This is not a new right. This is one of the fundamental rights that taxpayers have as outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE RIGHT TO HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE
Here’s what the IRS says about your right to have a representative.
- “Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS.” This is your basic right. You don’t have to do it alone.
- “Taxpayers who are heading to an interview with the IRS may select someone to represent them.” Yes, someone else can do the talking for you, and to present your case to the IRS such as for a Fresh Start application or Offer In Compromise application, or Innocent Spouse relief.
- “Taxpayers who retain representation don’t have to attend with their representative unless the IRS formally summons them to appear.” This is very important so let’s repeat it. You don’t even have to show up at the IRS unless you have been formally summoned. If you have not been formally summoned, your representative can handle everything.
- “In most situations, the IRS must suspend an interview if the taxpayer requests to consult with a representative, such as an attorney, certified public accountant or enrolled agent.” Remember this. Just in case you think you can go it alone, if you have any doubts you can suspend the interview or appointment and tell the IRS representative that you want to consult with a representative.
- “Any attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled actuary or other person permitted to represent a taxpayer before the IRS, who’s not disbarred or suspended from practice before the IRS, may submit a written power of attorney to represent a taxpayer before the IRS.” This makes it clear who your legal representative can be and tells you that you’ll have to give them a “power of attorney” to represent you.
- “Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from an LITC (Low Income Taxpayer Clinic) if they can’t afford representation. They can find a LITC near them by visiting the Low Income Taxpayer Clinics page or by calling the IRS toll-free at 800-829-3676.” You don’t have to be wealthy to have representation.
ABOUT THE LOW INCOME TAXPAYER CLINICS
LITCs are independent from the IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service These clinics represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee.
WE OFFER A FREE CONSULTATION
We also offer a free consultation and our free consultation is designed to tell you in 15 minutes or less if you need our services, or if there is other help for you, or if you can fix your tax debt problem yourself. Most taxpayers call us because they want to know more about the IRS Fresh Start Program and the Offer In Compromise Program. In our 15 minute free consultation we can tell you if you could be eligible for the IRS Fresh Start or the Offer In Compromise or the Innocent Spouse Relief. The phone call does not require any advanced planning and we’ll just be asking for general numbers about your finances and your tax debt. This video will tell you what to expect.
Here again is the direct phone number to call our senior tax resolution specialist Tom at our office: 949-359-0810
Or, you can call our general number on this page to reach any of our tax resolution experts about the IRS Fresh Start Initiative or the IRS Offer In Compromise, and for guidance if you are facing an IRS audit or think you might be facing an audit.
And remember, you don’t have to go through an IRS tax audit alone.