May 15, 2016

27783205_sKnowing a Taxpayer’s Rights in an IRS Audit

In order to protect the best interests of the taxpayer, Congress passed two Taxpayers Bill of Rights in the 1990s. To exercise these rights, however, you must first know what they are. Here are some of the important rights you should be aware of in case you get audited by the IRS:

The right not to meet with the IRS

When it comes to audits, taxpayers are not required to meet with an IRS agent in person but may instead opt to communicate with the agency through mail. By requesting a correspondence audit, you are not only able to avoid the stress brought about by a face-to-face meeting with the IRS and having it take precious time away from work and everyday life, but you are also able to avoid the risk of saying something that may be misinterpreted by the IRS agent.

The right to eliminate penalties

 Taxpayers often have to pay hefty penalties. Unknown to most is that these penalties can be subject to cancellation provided you can establish that you acted in good faith and did not attempt to deceive the IRS.

The right to an installment agreement

 If you owe the IRS money, keep in mind that you have a right to an installment agreement. This type of payment plan with the IRS aims to help you from experiencing financial hardship by allowing you to pay your debt over a particular period of time instead of making a lump-sum payment.

The right to make audio recordings of a meeting with the IRS

If you are being audited by the IRS, remember that you are entitled to make an audio recording of this meeting. Doing so may be particularly helpful if you wish to limit the discussion of unnecessary or irrelevant issues or prevent the IRS from changing terms or rules in the middle of the audit process. You must, however, notify the IRS of your intent to record 10 days prior to your meeting.

The right to challenge notices

 The Government Accounting Office states that 48% of all IRS notices are either incomplete or incorrect. Unaware of this statistic, many taxpayers simply choose to pay the IRS to get them off their backs. If you disagree with the IRS, challenge the agency as soon as possible.

The right to appeal findings

When it comes to dealing with the IRS, one of your most important rights is your right to appeal any and all findings in an audit, lien, or any other judgment. If you are unhappy with the results of an IRS audit, you are entitled to go through the IRS appeals office to challenge the auditor’s decision. Although it may take more than a year before your appeal is heard, it is important to note that IRS statistics show that 64% of taxpayers who appeal their case are successful.

Categories: IRS, Taxpayers' Rights