Taxpayer Rights are specifically addressed in publication 1 (see appendix).
The original Taxpayer Bill of Rights focused on providing taxpayers protection during the audit process-
Original Taxpayer Bill of Rights
- Taxpayers have a right to an explanation of the audit process, their appeal rights, and the collection process at the start of an audit.
- Taxpayers have a right to be represented by a representative authorized to practice before the IRS.
- axpayers have a right to suspend any interview to consult with a representative, provided the interview was not arranged through the use of an administrative summons.
- Taxpayers have a right, with advance notice to the IRS, to make an audio recording of any IRS interview.
Taxpayer Bill of Rights II
- Taxpayer Bill if Rights II focused on collection matters
- Besides the protections in the Original TBOR, Congress still did not have adequate protections, so they enacted the Taxpayer Bill of Rights II (TBOR 2) in 1996.
- TBOR 2 addressed a number of different issues, including the creation of a Taxpayer Advocate whose powers were much broader than the old Taxpayer Ombudsman and granting the IRS new authority to abate interest and penalties in certain situations.
Taxpayer Bill of Rights III
Additional taxpayers’ rights were added , and were delineated in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights III (TBOR 3) which was enacted in 1998. The impetus behind TBOR 3 were the findings which emanated from hearings held by the National Commission on Restructuring the IRS and from Congressional hearings on IRS abuses. The legislation enacted a number of notable changes:
When is the Confidentiality Privilege Extended to Taxpayer Communications?
- Communications between clients and authorized tax practitioners are privileged as along as the communications relate to tax advice
- This privilege applies to non-criminal tax matters
IRS Employee Contacts
- Manually generated correspondence received by a taxpayer from the IRS must clearly identify the name, telephone number, and unique identifying number of an IRS employee whom the taxpayer may contact about the correspondence.
- Other correspondence or notice received by a taxpayer from the IRS must include in a prominent manner a telephone number that the taxpayer may contact.
- An IRS employee must give a taxpayer, during a telephone or personal contact, the employee’s telephone number and unique identifying number.
Listing of Local IRS Telephone Numbers and Addresses
- The IRS must publish addresses and telephone numbers of local IRS offices in appropriate telephone directories.
Although not specifically a new “Taxpayer Right,” one provision of the Restructuring Act has had a significant impact on IRS employees.
- Sec. 1203 provided a list of 10 actions for which an IRS employee must be fired.
- These are known as the ten deadly sins- these actions have initially had a chilling effect on examination and collection personnel.
- While the claim by a taxpayer that an employee has committed one of these ’10 deadly sins’ is taken very seriously, the evidence appears to be mixed on Sec. 1203’s overall impact.
The Practitioner Priority Service
Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) provides practitioners access to a number of IRS resources.
- PPS operates from to .
- PPS is located at five sites—Brookhaven, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Cincinnati, OH, Memphis, TN, and Ogden, UT.
- Calls are routed based on area codes. Both business and individual questions are addressed by PPS.
- If for some reason a call cannot be handled at PPS, it will be given priority routing to the appropriate IRS function.
- The toll-free number for the PPS is (866) 860-4259.
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