Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

The IRS takes steps to remind taxpayers of their rights

As a nation, the U.S. prides itself on being a land where its citizens are entitled to certain freedoms. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights are both important doctrines which help ensure that governmental entities don't overstep their boundaries with regard to personal freedoms and rights.

Every U.S. resident is required to pay taxes and each year, a large percentage of U.S. taxpayers complain about not only having to pay taxes, but also their experiences dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. This sentiment is especially strong among individuals who face IRS fines, penalties, audits and criminal charges.

In response to growing criticism and in the wake of recent political pressure, the IRS recently adopted a "Taxpayer Bill of Rights." The most current list of taxpayer's rights is not the first produced by the agency; however some, including National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson, believe the recently released document is easier to digest and recall than previous and similar documents.

Included in the list of 10 taxpayer rights are a taxpayer's right to be informed, challenge the IRS's position and be heard, appeal an IRS decision and retain counsel. The IRS will begin sending a physical document detailing these four and the remaining six taxpayer rights to those individuals who face additional scrutiny from the agency.

While the rights included in the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights are not new, the IRS appears to be doing some reputation damage control in the wake of recent criticism from conservative politicians. IRS representatives contend the agency is keen to remind all taxpayers of the agency's commitment to fairness and transparency.

Source: Forbes, "IRS Reveals Taxpayer Bill Of Rights," Robert W. Wood, June 10, 2014

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