As taxpayers, we all dread the thought of receiving that dreaded call or letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notifying us of alleged owed taxes. Before panic sets in and you make the wrong move, you must understand your rights when dealing with the IRS for a tax settlement. The IRS possesses immense power to collect taxes, but as taxpayers, we have certain rights if we disagree with their claims. In this article, we will shed light on some of these rights to help taxpayers understand how to protect themselves when dealing with the irs tax settlement.
1. Right to Representation
As a taxpayer, you have the right to seek legal representation when dealing with the IRS for a tax settlement. This applies to all stages of the process. If you receive a notice from the IRS, you can engage a tax attorney, a certified public accountant, or an enrolled agent to help you navigate the process. An experienced tax professional can help you understand your rights and advise you on the best course of action.
2. Right to Appeal
When the IRS initiates an audit or assessment, you have the right to appeal their decision if you disagree with it. You have the right to request a conference with an Appeals Officer or, in some cases, to go to court. It’s essential to understand the deadlines for appealing an IRS decision as well as the legal requirements necessary to support your claim for an appeal. An experienced tax attorney can help you decide if filing an appeal is in your best interest.
3. Right to Confidentiality
The IRS has strict rules regarding taxpayer confidentiality. Your tax information is safeguarded and cannot be disclosed to any unauthorized party. As a taxpayer, you have the right to expect confidentiality and privacy when dealing with the IRS. If you feel your rights have been violated in this regard, you can file a complaint and seek appropriate legal action.
4. Right to Finality
As a taxpayer, you have the right to know the final determination of your tax liabilities. This means that the IRS cannot continually assess additional taxes or reopen a closed case. You have the right to expect the IRS to follow the proper procedures when conducting an audit or assessment. In some cases, the IRS may not be able to resolve a dispute, and it may become necessary to seek legal intervention.
5. Right to Payment Plans/Installments
If you owe taxes to the IRS and cannot pay the entire amount in full, you have the right to request a payment plan or installment agreement. The IRS offers various payment plans, including short-term payment plans, long-term payment plans, and partial payment installment agreements. It’s essential to know the advantages and disadvantages of each option and which best fits your financial situation. A tax professional can help you choose the best payment plan for your needs and help you negotiate it with the IRS.
As taxpayers, we have rights when dealing with the IRS for tax settlements. Understanding these rights can help us navigate the process while protecting our interests. If you find yourself at odds with the IRS, it’s essential to seek legal representation and understand your options for appeal. Remember that the IRS has extensive power to collect taxes, but as taxpayers, we have rights and protections that can help us resolve disputes effectively.