Get to know the Taxpayer Bill of Rights during tax season

As Americans, we have basic rights when filing taxes and dealing with the IRS thanks to the Taxpayer Bill of RightsThe document takes the existing rights in the nation’s tax code and groups them into 10 categories making them easier to understand and use.

Here are the first five rights.

No. 1: The right to be informed

As a taxpayer, you have the right to know what tax laws mean. That could take an accountant, but you are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. You have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.

No. 2: The Right to Quality Service

As a taxpayer, you have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in your dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way you can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

No. 3: The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax

As a taxpayer, you have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.

No. 4: The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard

As a taxpayer, you have the right to raise objections and provide additional evidence in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider its timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with its position.

No. 5: The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum

As a taxpayer, you are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.