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Friday September 19, 2014

Washington News

Washington Hotline

New Taxpayer Bill of Rights

On June 10, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson participated in a joint press conference in Washington. They joined together in an announcement of a new Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The IRS noted that this was the first joint press conference involving the IRS Commissioner and the National Taxpayer Advocate.

Commissioner Koskinen explained the reason for the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights. He stated, “The Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains fundamental information to help taxpayers. These are core concepts about which taxpayers should be aware. Respecting taxpayer rights continues to be a top priority for IRS employees, and the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights summarizes these important protections in a clearer, more understandable format than ever before.”

National Taxpayer Advocate Olson has been encouraging the IRS to publish the new guidelines. She noted, “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 new Taxpayer Bill of Rights has 10 principles.

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

Editor’s Note: The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a welcome step forward by Commissioner Koskinen. If the IRS questions your tax return or a deduction, you have a clear right to pay only the correct amount of tax. Any taxpayer also may challenge the IRS, must be heard by IRS representatives, may appeal a decision and may have his or her selected representative. This clear statement of the taxpayers’ rights is good for both the IRS and all Americans.

Published June 13, 2014


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