You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

What you should do if the IRS breaks the rules


Most people know that breaking tax rules, even accidentally, can bring serious consequences like an audit. It may seem like a one-way street, but the IRS has to follow rules, too. Here’s what three tax attorneys say you should know.

This year's IRS audits are bad news — for the rich

8 crucial tax tips for millennials

Have you gotten this IRS scam phone call?

Authorities: Atlanta businesswoman bilks IRS out of $20 million

There is a Taxpayer Bill of Rights

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which the IRS adopted in 2014, summarizes taxpayer rights scattered throughout the tax code, making it easier to understand what the IRS can and can’t do.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights groups taxpayer rights into 10 basic tenets. Under them, taxpayers have the right to:

It’s often helpful to refer to these rights when talking with the IRS, says Glen Frost, a tax attorney in Columbia, Maryland. When talking with the IRS, Frost says he often points out that it’s the taxpayer’s right to be heard, for example.

You can push back

IRS disputes can be intimidating. Frost says he’s seen even certified public accountants become submissive around IRS agents. But the Taxpayer Bill of Rights provides the grounds to challenge the agency’s position.

“The first principle here is, these aren’t rights that are granted by the IRS, but they’re simply recognized by the IRS, and they all come down from the law that’s either made by Congress or made by the courts,” says Fred Daily, a tax attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Taxpayers have the right to retain representation. Taxpayers also have the right to talk to an IRS supervisor — a move that might save hours of time and frustration, Frost adds.

There are limits

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights may help you navigate disputes, but it’s not necessarily a tool for things like resolving problems with a specific employee, for example, says Alvin Brown, a tax attorney in New York City.

“The [Taxpayer] Bill of Rights is incomplete, and it needs some more backbone. It needs more structure, more specificity,” Brown says.

Other options for taxpayers include filing a complaint with the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, an IRS watchdog, or turning to the courts, he says.

Tina Orem is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:torem@nerdwallet.com.

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by USA Today.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Woodward Academy: Q&A with visual arts teacher Andy Cunningham

Andy Cunningham finds it strange to say out loud that he’s worked for Woodward Academy for 32 years. When he joined the city’s oldest private college preparatory school in 1985, he had no plan to be a high school teacher. Cunningham, who holds a bachelor’s degree and MFA from Georgia State University, was the first black male on faculty...
Executives believe in collaboration, balance

The leaders of the top small, midsize and large workplaces shared what makes them proud and advice for companies trying to improve their corporate culture. Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity. Q: What are key components of the company’s culture? Pat Flood, regional operating partner, Supreme Lending’s Southeast region: Our...
Woodward Academy: Top Large Workplace

Students and faculty whiz around President Stuart Gulley in the foyer of the light-filled renovated Thalia N. Carlos Science Center, which re-opened in 2016 at Woodward Academy in College Park. During a change in classes, Gulley stops a student dressed in a blue blazer and khakis, Woodward’s school uniform, and brags about his success in a recent...
What AutomationDirect.com employees say

AutomationDirect.com ADC provides a spectacularly positive work environment and provides a frequent and detailed vision for the company! ADC is, hands-down, the best place I have ever worked! I am given complete freedom in deciding how to execute my work and the company provides the best resources to get the job done. The company culture is most inclusive...
AutomationDirect.com: Q&A with Leisa Cudworth in product management

Leisa Cudworth often uses her lunch hour to exercise. It’s easy for her to work up a sweat since AutomationDirect.com has onsite exercise programs and facilities. “You get to do it at lunch or different times (of the day), so when evening comes, you get to go home to your family,” she said. Cudworth, who has worked her way from inside...
More Stories