Need Tax Help - Learn About Your TaxPayer Rights
Many taxpayers deal with the IRS without having any idea whatsoever of their taxpayer rights or how to exercise them. This puts the taxpayer at a disadvantage in every way when seeking tax help. Primarily the Taxpayer Bill of Rights detail what the IRS can do, how you will be effected and how and what you can do to protect your rights. Some of them are:
You must be dealt with in a respectful, courteous and professional manner by IRS employees.
Tax information and the tax help you need to comply with the tax laws must be provided.
The IRS must ensure that your personal and financial information is kept confidential. The IRS is not allowed to disclose to anyone the information you give them, except as authorized by law.
If you are asked for information you have the right to know why you are being asked for the information, how it will be used, and what happens if you do not provide it. I am sure, it seems scary asking an IRS agent "Why", "How" and "What if I donít" but these are your rights. If you don't use them you lose them.
You must be provided with clear explanations in any tax notice or mail inquiries. The IRS also must furnish any additional information if you request it.
Taxes must be collected fairly. If an IRS agent threatens to seize your home or take some other tax collection measure that could cause you a significant hardship, you should apply for a Taxpayer Assistance Order.
To do this file an IRS Tax Form 911. One benefit of this taxpayer right is that all collection efforts are suspended while your request is being reviewed.
Your taxpayer rights include relief from certain penalties and interest. The IRS will waive penalties when allowed by law if you can show you acted reasonably and in good faith or relied on the incorrect advice of an IRS employee. They will waive interest that is the result of certain errors or delays caused by an IRS employee.
If requested and you owe less than ,000, not including tax penalties or interest, the IRS MUST agree to a 3 year installment payment schedule. Make sure you comply with any agreement, it will not be pretty if you default with the IRS.
You must receive a "Notice of Lien" 5 business days after the filing of the lien before a tax lien or levy can be enforced. The tax notice sent MUST have an explanation of the IRS tax levy procedures; your taxpayer right to have an IRS administrative appeal and the IRS appeal procedures. It must also state the alternatives to the proposed tax levy such as an installment agreement as well as the tax rules allowing you to obtain a release of the tax lien.
Non-exempt business property may not be seized unless the IRS District or IRS Assistant District Director determines that the taxpayer's other assets are insufficient to satisfy the tax liability or that the collection of tax is jeopardized.
If the disputed tax liability is ,000 or less a personal residence is exempt from being seized.
For a levy or lien attaching money in your bank account a bank will hold your money for 21-days after receiving notice of an IRS tax levy before turning it over to the IRS. This freeze allows you time to contact the IRS for an explanation.
You have the right to and should appeal if you feel you have paid the tax liability and the IRS still tries to levy your property. If the statute of limitations or if the property is exempt under bankruptcy rules you should appeal also.
You must be given a 30 day notice before the IRS can alter, modify, or terminate an intstallment agreement, if you have entered into an agreement with them.
You can suspend an IRS tax audit in progress at any time to consult with your professional advisor.
Hopefully you will not have to utilize any of these rights. If so you are now armed with basic information. It is advised that you seek professional tax help in resolving any tax disputes and to ensure that all of your taxpayer rights are exercised to the fullest.
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