IRS Adopts Taxpayer Bill of Rights

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The IRS today announced the adoption of a "Taxpayer Bill of Rights," which will serve as a cornerstone document to provide taxpayers with a better understanding of their rights. National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, who leads the Taxpayer Advocate Service, has previously proposed the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

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The IRS today announced the adoption of a "Taxpayer Bill of Rights," which will serve as a cornerstone document to provide taxpayers with a better understanding of their rights.

The tax code includes numerous taxpayer rights, but they are scattered throughout the code, making it difficult for people to track and understand. Similar to the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains 10 provisions. They are:

1. The Right to Be Informed
2. The Right to Quality Service
3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
6. The Right to Finality
7. The Right to Privacy
8. The Right to Confidentiality
9. The Right to Retain Representation
10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

These rights will be highlighted on IRS.gov, and will be featured in IRS facilities for taxpayers and employees to see. Publication 1, "Your Rights as a Taxpayer," has been updated with the 10 rights and will be sent to millions of taxpayers this year when they receive IRS notices.

The IRS released the Taxpayer Bill of Rights following extensive discussions with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent office inside the IRS that represents the interests of U.S. taxpayers. Since 2007, adopting a Taxpayer Bill of Rights has been a goal of National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson, and it was listed as the Advocate’s top priority in her most recent Annual Report to Congress.

“Congress has passed multiple pieces of legislation with the title of ‘Taxpayer Bill of Rights,’” Olson said. “However, taxpayer surveys conducted by my office have found that most taxpayers do not believe they have rights before the IRS and even fewer can name their rights. I believe the list of core taxpayer rights the IRS is announcing today will help taxpayers better understand their rights in dealing with the tax system.”

The rights have been incorporated into a redesigned version of Publication 1, “Your Rights as a Taxpayer,” which will be included in IRS correspondence over the next few weeks. The IRS has also created a special section of IRS.gov to highlight the 10 rights, so taxpayers will be able to easily find the Bill of Rights from the front page. Additionally, the Taxpayer Advocate Service has created a Taxpayer Bill of Rights section on its website where taxpayers can learn more about each right.

"This information is critically important for taxpayers to read and understand,” said IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen. “We encourage people to take a moment to read the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, especially when they are interacting with the IRS. While these rights have always been there for taxpayers, we think the time is right to highlight and showcase these rights for people to plainly see.”

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Ken Drexler
Taxpayer Advocate Service
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