|Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer
||2007 Tax Year
Publication 1 - Main Contents
Declaration of Taxpayer Rights
I. Protection of Your Rights
IRS employees will explain and protect your rights as a taxpayer
throughout your contact with us.
II. Privacy and Confidentiality
The IRS will not disclose to anyone the information you give us,
except as authorized by law. You have the right to know why we are
asking you for information, how we will use it, and what happens if
you do not provide requested information.
III. Professional and Courteous Service
If you believe that an IRS employee has not treated you in a
professional, fair, and courteous manner, you should tell that
employee's supervisor. If the supervisor's response is not
satisfactory, you should write to your IRS District Director or
Service Center Director.
You may either represent yourself or, with proper written
authorization, have someone else represent you in your place. Your
representative must be a person allowed to practice before the IRS,
such as an attorney, certified public accountant, or enrolled agent.
If you are in an interview and ask to consult with such a person, then
we must stop and reschedule the interview in most cases.
You can have someone accompany you at an interview. You may make
sound recordings of any meetings with our examination, appeal, or
collection personnel, provided you tell us in writing 10 days before
V. Payment of Only the Correct Amount of Tax
You are responsible for paying only the correct amount of tax due
under the law—no more, no less. If you cannot pay all of your tax when
it is due, you may be able to make monthly installment payments.
VI. Help With Unresolved Tax Problems
The National Taxpayer Advocate's Problem Resolution Program can
help you if you have tried unsuccessfully to resolve a problem with
the IRS. Your local Taxpayer Advocate can offer you special help if
you have a significant hardship as a result of a tax problem. For more
information, call toll-free 1–877–777–4778 (1–800–829– 4059 for
TTY/TDD users) or write to the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS office
that last contacted you.
VII. Appeals and Judicial Review
If you disagree with us about the amount of your tax liability or
certain collection actions, you have the right to ask the Appeals
Office to review your case. You may also ask a court to review your
VIII. 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. We will waive interest that is the result
of certain errors or delays caused by an IRS employee.
Examinations, Appeals, Collections, and Refunds
We accept most taxpayer's returns as filed. If we inquire about
your return or select it for examination, it does not suggest that you
are dishonest. The inquiry or examination may or may not result in
more tax. We may close your case without change; or, you may receive a
The process of selecting a return for examination usually begins in
one of two ways. First, we use computer programs to identify returns
that may have incorrect amounts. These programs may be based on
information returns, such as Forms 1099 and W–2, on studies of past
examinations, or on certain issues identified by compliance projects.
Second, we use information from outside sources that indicates that a
return may have incorrect amounts. These sources may include
newspapers, public records, and individuals. If we determine that the
information is accurate and reliable, we may use it to select a return
Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and
Claims for Refund, explains the rules and procedures that we
follow in examinations. The following sections give an overview of how
we conduct examinations.
We handle many examinations and inquiries by mail. We will send you
a letter with either a request for more information or a reason why we
believe a change to your return may be needed. You can respond by mail
or you can request a personal interview with an examiner. If you mail
us the requested information or provide an explanation, we may or may
not agree with you, and we will explain the reasons for any changes.
Please do not hesitate to write to us about anything you do not
If we notify you that we will conduct your examination through a
personal interview, or you request such an interview, you have the
right to ask that the examination take place at a reasonable time and
place that is convenient for both you and the IRS. If our examiner
proposes any changes to your return, he or she will explain the
reasons for the changes. If you do not agree with these changes, you
can meet with the examiner's supervisor.
If we examined your return for the same items in either of the 2
previous years and proposed no change to your tax liability, please
contact us as soon as possible so we can see if we should discontinue
If you do not agree with the examiner's proposed changes, you can
appeal them to the Appeals Office of IRS. Most differences can be
settled without expensive and time-consuming court trials. Your appeal
rights are explained in detail in both Publication 5, Appeal
Rights and Preparation of Protests for Unagreed Cases, and
Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and
Claims for Refund.
If you do not wish to use the Appeals Office or disagree with its
findings, you may be able to take your case to the U.S. Tax Court,
U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or the U.S. District Court where you
live. If you take your case to court, the IRS will have the burden of
proving certain facts if you kept adequate records to show your tax
liability, cooperated with the IRS, and meet certain other conditions.
If the court agrees with you on most issues in your case, and finds
that our position was largely unjustified, you may be able to recover
some of your administrative and litigation costs. You will not be
eligible to recover these costs unless you tried to resolve your case
administratively, including going through the appeals system, and you
gave us the information necessary to resolve the case.
Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process, explains
your rights and responsibilities regarding payment of federal taxes.
What to do when you owe taxes. It describes what to do if
you get a tax bill and what to do if you think your bill is wrong. It
also covers making installment payments, delaying collection action,
and submitting an offer in compromise.
IRS collection actions. It covers liens, releasing a lien,
levies, releasing a levy, seizures and sales, and release of
Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights for Liens, Levies,
Seizures and Installment Agreement Terminations, explains your
collection appeal rights.
Generally, both you and your spouse are responsible, jointly and
individually, for paying the full amount of any tax, interest, or
penalties due on your joint return. However, you may not have to pay
the tax, interest, and penalties related to your spouse (or former
New tax law changes make it easier to qualify for innocent spouse
relief and add two other ways for you to get relief. For more
information, see Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief,
and Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief (And
Separation of Liability and Equitable Relief).
You may file a claim for refund if you think you paid too much tax.
You must generally file the claim within 3 years from the date you
filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax,
whichever is later. The law generally provides for interest on your
refund if it is not paid within 45 days of the date you filed your
return or claim for refund. Publication 556, Examination of
Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund, has more
information on refunds.
The IRS provides a great deal of free information. The following
are sources for forms, publications, and additional information.
Tax Questions: 1-800-829-1040 (1-800-829-4059 for
Forms and Publications: 1-800-829-3676
(1-800-829-4059 for TTY/TDD users)
TaxFax Service: From your fax machine, dial
Small Business Ombudsman: If you are a small
business entity, you can participate in the regulatory process and
comment on enforcement actions of IRS by calling
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration:
If you want to confidentially report misconduct, waste, fraud,
or abuse by an IRS employee, you can call 1-800-366-4484
(1-800-877-8339 for TTY/TDD users). You can remain
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