On Tuesday, the IRS released what it calls the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, grouping together the rights that taxpayers have in the tax code. These rights have always existed, but now the IRS has put the rights together in a clear, understandable list to be distributed to taxpayers. The ten items are described in IRS Publication 1, "Your Rights as a Taxpayer," a document that will be distributed with IRS correspondence to taxpayers. The Bill of Rights will be posted on posters in IRS offices, and a new section of the IRS website will be dedicated to the 10 rights and will be updated periodically.
The publication, poster, and website, all contain the list of 10 rights, along with a description of each right. The Publication also contains information on examinations, appeals, collections, and refunds. In brief, the rights are:
- The right to be informed.
- The right to quality service.
- The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax.
- The right to challenge the IRS's position and be heard.
- The right to appeal an IRS decision in an adequate forum.
- The right to finality.
- The right to privacy.
- The right to confidentiality.
- The right to retain representation.
- The right to a fair and just tax system.
The IRS is not claiming these to be "new" rights, but rather the IRS wants you to know you have certain rights as a taxpayer, and wants you to know what those rights entail. ill this change how the IRS operates and interacts with taxpayers? Probably not, but maybe it will inform taxpayers of rights they were not aware they have always had.