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Filing Your Taxes: Taxpayer Bill of Rights

As a taxpayer, you are entitled to a number of important rights. Read the "Declaration of Taxpayer Rights" below to inform yourself of your rights:

I. Protection of Your Rights
IRS employees will explain and protect your rights as a taxpayer throughout your contact with the agency.

II. Privacy and Confidentiality
The IRS will not disclose to anyone the information you provide, except as authorized by law. You have the right to know why you are being asked for information, how it will be used, 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 the IRS director for your area or the center where you filed your return.

IV. Representation
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 such a person, then the IRS 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 the IRS's examination, appeal, or collection personnel, provided you tell the IRS in writing 10 days before the meeting.

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 Taxpayer Advocate Service 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) or write to the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS office that last contacted you.

VII. Appeals and Judicial Review
If you disagree with the IRS 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 case.

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. The IRS will waive interest that is the result of certain errors or delays caused by an IRS employee.

For more details on taxpayer rights and the IRS, read IRS Publication 1, "Your Rights as a Taxpayer."

You also can request a free copy of this and other IRS publications by calling (800) 829-3676.

Or write to:
Forms Distribution Center
PO Box 85627
Richmond, VA 23285.

You also have rights if you are audited. The IRS has more information about getting audited on their Website.

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