What is the Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

tax payerWhile many people do not know about it, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) is a powerful document that outlines the rights of U.S. taxpayers in working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


The Taxpayer Bill of Rights was enacted by Congress in 2015. The document codifies specific rights available to individuals and to global corporations in their tax dealing with the IRS.  


The basic tenants of the TBOR include:

  • The right to be informed: U.S. taxpayers have the right to receive written notice of issues identified by the IRS in their tax return, such as a claimed refund. Similarly, if the IRS assesses a penalty, you will receive a notice detailing the penalty, its cause, and its calculation. During an IRS audit, the audit process and your rights are explained to you during the in-person portion of that process. Bottom line — the IRS is charged with explaining its actions and reasoning with regard to your tax documentation.
  • The right to quality service: When working with the IRS, you have the right to prompt, courteous service, with limitations on when and where the IRS may contact you. Since 2020, the IRS has had difficulty maintaining timely processing of tax returns and responding promptly to telephone calls — a deficit the IRS continues to address. 
  • The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax: Each taxpayer has the right to pay only what they legally owe in tax with the understanding that payments will be applied properly to a tax liability. This is an extensive and important right to ensure taxes assessed and paid are legitimate and processed appropriately.
  • The right to challenge the position of the IRS: You have the right to object to an action or decision by the IRS and receive a response in a timely manner. This right applies to objections that arise during an IRS civil or criminal audit, or on a tax return. This right also applies to IRS enforcement actions and filing of tax liens.
  • The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum: This provision enables taxpayers to appeal decisions made by the IRS to the Office of Appeals, the U.S. Tax Court, or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.  
  • The right to finality and the right to privacy: The TBOR provides that taxpayers are notified of the amount of time in which they can challenge an IRS decision and when an audit has been completed. As well, consumers have a right to expect IRS processes and examinations around investigation, search, and seizure are legally compliant.


The IRS is committed to identifying and deterring tax fraud and other criminal tax matters. The TBOR provides specific protections against abuse of IRS processes if you become involved in a tax controversy.  


If you pursue tax litigation or are charged with a tax crime, speak with an experienced criminal defense tax attorney about the rights granted to you under TBOR and your options for challenging decisions made by the IRS. 


Dedicated legal guidance with IRS audits, compliance, and foreign bank accounts

Representing local, national, and international clients from offices in Chicago and Cleveland, the legal team at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC helps you respond strategically to questions about payroll tax issues, bankruptcy, or other tax matter. Call 800-579-0997 or contact us today.


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