Taxpayer’s rights must be upheld at all cost even to an IRS investigation. Many taxpayers justifiably fear an IRS audit and its potential financial consequences. However, because they have only heard of audits described as something they should fear, many taxpayers have only a partial understanding of the process. In the minds of many, it is particularly easy and perhaps human nature to picture the IRS and its audit process as arduous, difficult, and confusing.
However, the audit process is governed by numerous sources of authority including IRS rules, policy manuals, and the U.S. Tax Code. Under these authorities, taxpayers are granted certain rights while the IRS and its investigators and auditors are assigned certain responsibilities and duties. Individuals who understand their rights as taxpayers are better able to protect and use these rights.
Taxpayers’ rights are set forth in Section 7803 of U.S. Tax Code and are described in the more accessible language in IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer. Generally, the IRS segments the rights that are codified in §7803 as ten distinct rights. These rights are:
The above describes the general outlines of the rights taxpayers have in any IRS audit or another proceeding. Taxpayers who are aware of their appeal and challenge rights can frequently experience superior outcomes compared to taxpayers who do not understand these rights. Working with a lawyer who understands how to protect these rights is essential.
A number of these rights and the enactment of the authorizing legislation may have stemmed from the IRS’s “unlawful targeting” scandal that has plagued the agency for a number of years. Furthermore, additional legislation including the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, PL 114-113, also implements additional restrictions on the behavior of IRS employees and agents. For example, the law prohibits IRS employees from making use of personal e-mail accounts when they are conducting official government business. Furthermore, the law states that IRS employees who take action or refrain from taking action due to political purposes or for personal gain can be held liable for these acts.
Taxpayers who have a lawyer willing to fight for them and protect their rights often achieve more favorable outcomes with the IRS or state taxing agency. The tax lawyers of the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing can work for you when you are facing an IRS audit, collection, or enforcement action. To schedule a reduced rate consultation call us at 800-681-1295 or online.