Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Part 2
As taxpayers, most of us probably think that whatever the IRS says goes and that we as taxpayers don’t have much recourse. However, as a taxpayer in the United States you do have rights and they are documented in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. One of the rights listed on the IRS website at number four to be exact, is your right to challenge the IRS’s position and to be heard.
If the IRS notifies you that your tax return has a math or clerical error, you have 60 days to tell the IRS that you disagree. It is very important that you notify the IRS that you disagree within that window of time. Get your documentation together because you will need to prove your case. Don’t send original documents/papers, you should provide photocopies of any records that may help correct the error. In addition, you may call the number listed on your notice or bill for help. Expect a wait, the IRS is understaffed like never before. 33,000 fewer employees than in 2010. Begin the process as soon as you can, 60 days can slip by very easily.
If the IRS agrees with your position, they will make the necessary adjustment to your account and send you a corrected notice.
- If the IRS disagrees and does not adopt your position, it will send a notice proposing a tax adjustment (known as a statutory notice of deficiency). The statutory notice of deficiency gives you the right to challenge the proposed adjustment in the United States Tax Court before paying it. If you are going to challenge the proposed adjustment you need to file a petition within 90 days of the date of the notice (150 days if the notice is addressed to you outside the United States). For more information about the United States Tax Court, see the Court’s taxpayer information page.
- If you submit documentation or raise objections during a return examination (or audit), and the IRS does not agree with your position, it will issue you a statutory notice of deficiency. This notice will explain why the IRS is increasing your tax, which gives you the right to petition the U.S. Tax Court prior to paying the tax. There is recourse, however the better your documentation is the stronger your case.
- When the IRS notifies you of plans to levy your bank account or other property, you’ll generally have an opportunity to request a hearing before the Office of Appeals. Also, you’ll generally have an opportunity to appeal the proposed or actual filing of a notice of federal tax lien.
Errors do occur, especially if you are filing your taxes yourself. A good tax account will help you present your case to the IRS and oftentimes be there to represent you. Just remember you do have rights as a taxpayer. To learn more about your rights as a taxpayer visit https://www.irs.gov/taxpayer-bill-of-rights.
If you’re ready to learn more about what strategies you can use to reduce your tax bill next year, please contact us.