Even in the midst of an audit a taxpayer has rights that are afforded to them. These are actually spelled out in law. In fact, many times the taxpayer will receive a paper copy of their rights as they are laid out in the law when they receive notice that they are being audited. Don’t rely on the IRS to send you those rights, you should know about them ahead of time, but realize that the IRS may also send you a copy.
The taxpayer has the right to professional treatment from the IRS no matter what their tax situation is. IRS agents are not permitted to harass a taxpayer due to issues with properly paying their taxes. Many debt collectors behave this way, but the government of the United States does not permit its agents to behave in such a manner.
Privacy In These Matters
The IRS cannot go out and broadcast your situation to the world. They cannot even talk about it with anyone that you have not approved of them speaking about it to. That means that you have some of the same privacy expectations that you might expect to receive at your doctor’s office or a hospital. You can fully expect that the government is going to try to protect these types of things as well.
Understanding Why The IRS Requests Certain Information
The taxpayer has the right to understand why the IRS is requesting certain information of them. They also get to know how the IRS intends to use that information as well as what the consequences are if they do not turn over said information. This is important because the IRS cannot simply ask you for whatever they want. They have to ask for information that specifically pertains to the situation that is at hand. If you feel that they are asking for information that they do not need to conduct their audit, you can challenge their request.
You Have The Right To An Attorney
It does not have to be a criminal audit with the IRS before your right to council is activated. Rather, you have a right to council throughout the entire process. You never give up that right, and you might decide that you want to get an attorney when you are dealing with the IRS in any capacity. That could just take some of the burden off of your mind and place it on the shoulders of your attorney. That may be better for you personally.
You Can Appeal An IRS Decision
It is possible to appeal a decision made by the IRS, and you have a right to be heard on that appeal. You don’t have a guarantee that you will win said appeal, but you can at least request that the appeal be made in order to try to protect your rights in these situations. It is always best to try to protect yourself against IRS audits.
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