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Know Your Rights!

If you do not know your rights, how can you enforce them?

 

We know from the Declaration of Independence that our Creator has endowed us with the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property (as John Locke enumerated the three categories of rights). And we know that without life, no one can enjoy liberty or property, and without liberty, he cannot enjoy his property; thus these categories of rights are enumerated in hierarchical order. We learn from the Bill of Rights – the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution – what some of these God-given rights mean in context: freedom of speech and religion, freedom to physically defend yourself and others, freedom from intrusion into your privacy, freedom to defend yourself in court, etc.

 

But how does this theory play out in practice? What happens when the executive branch – such as IRS agents – violate your rights? Will the courts side with freedom or tyranny? What if IRS interprets the Constitution and statutes differently than you do? How will the courts interpret them? As experienced Criminal and Civil Tax Attorneys contact us to review your case and better understand your rights before answering questions from auditors or investigators. Forewarned is forearmed!

Below is a copy of the so-called "Taxpayers' Bill of Rights," adopted by IRS as Publication 1 at the recommendation of the National Taxpayer Advocate. Do you believe IRS is infringing upon these rights in your case?

  1. The Right to Be Informed - you have the right to know what you have to do to comply with the tax laws. You are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, explanations, publications, notices, and correspondence.

  2. The Right to Quality Service - you have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in your dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way you can clearly understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

  3. The Right to Pay No More that the Correct Amount of Tax - you have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.

  4. The Right to Challenge the IRS's Position, and Be Heard -  you have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with your position.

  5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum - you are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the 'Office of Appeals’ decision. You generally have the right to take your case to court.

  6. The Right to Finality - you have the right to know the maximum amount of time you have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. You have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.

  7. The Right To Privacy - you have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections, and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.

  8. The Right to Confidentiality - you have the right to expect that any information you provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the you or by law. You have the right to expect appropriate action will be taken against employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose your return information.

  9. The Right to Retain Representation - you have the right to retain an authorized representative of your choice to represent you in your dealings with the IRS. you have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if you cannot afford representation.

  10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System - you have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect your underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. You have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if you are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved your tax issues properly and timely through its normal channels.