This week the IRS adopted a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights”. Unfortunately, the IRS admitted that no new taxpayer rights or protections were created. The newly released taxpayer Bill of Rights simply organizes various policies from the tax code and groups them into 10 broad categories.
The thought is that highlighting these already existing protections will make them more visible and easier for taxpayers to understand.
Here are the 10 broad rights the IRS are going to publicize through this version of the taxpayer Bill of Rights:
- The Right to Be Informed
- The Right to Quality Service
- The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
- The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
- The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
- The Right to Finality
- The Right to Privacy
- The Right to Confidentiality
- The Right to Retain Representation
- The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System
While poking a little bit of fun at the IRS, I believe this version would be more accurate:
- The Right to Be Informed (so long as you still open mail sent to the address you lived at years ago);
- The Right to Quality Service (similar to any other poorly structured organization);
- The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax (plus the penalties and interest that we will charge you to tell you that we don’t think you paid the correct amount of tax);
- The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard (unless we disagree with your position);
- The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum (which is funded by the IRS);
- The Right to Finality (when you die);
- The Right to Privacy (unless you owe us money);
- The Right to Confidentiality (unless you owe us money);
- The Right to Retain Representation (which you will need);
- The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System (similar to the justice system).
The IRS plans on displaying their new Taxpayer Bill of Rights conspicuously throughout their offices. I’m debating whether I should post my version in our law firm’s offices.