Your Rights as a Taxpayer

Your Rights as a Taxpayer

Share this

It may come as a surprise to some that there is a special bill of rights that deals only with the rights of U.S. taxpayers.

In fact, there are 3 of them.

And you’d better know your rights before you try to deal with the IRS because it is highly likely that the IRS official you will be dealing with either:

  1. Doesn’t know your rights; or
  2. Isn’t particularly enthusiastic about your exercise of them.

There have been three Taxpayer Rights bills passed by Congress in the last twenty years.

Here are some of the more critical provisions of each bill:

Taxpayer Bill of Rights I

Taxpayers have the right to legal representation similar to that of a criminal defendant

Taxpayers have the right to have the IRS processes explained to them

Taxpayers have the right to sue the government for damages caused by IRS officials

The IRS cannot evaluate collection employees based on their collection results

Taxpayer Bill of Rights II

Established the position of Taxpayer Advocate with higher level of independence and authority to assist taxpayers

Required IRS to give taxpayers 30 days written notice before altering, modifying or terminating an Installment Agreement

Expands IRS authority to abate interest accruals on delinquent tax liabilities

Granted Tax Court jurisdiction to review for abuse of discretion the IRS’s denial of interest abatement

Shifted the Burden of Proof to the IRS to show substantial justification for its position against a taxpayer

Allowed taxpayers to recover a civil penalty up to $500,000 for IRS misconduct

Taxpayer Bill of Rights III

Shifted the Burden of Proof to the IRS in Tax Court cases (upon certain conditions)

Expanded Innocent Spouse Relief

Expanded taxpayer due process rights in collection actions

Expanded taxpayer right to file a Motion to Quash an IRS third party summons

Required IRS supervisory approval for all liens, levies and seizures

Limited IRS ability to seize a taxpayer’s primary residence

Expanded IRS authority to accept an Offer in Compromise

Related Posts and Links

Taxpayer Rights and the IRS Collection Process

Taxpayer Rights (IRS Site)

Taxpayer Bill or Rights (TABOR): The Cure for “Ratchet Up” – Tax Policy Blog

About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida


  1. […] gives us a whole new way of looking at one little part of that universe by telling us that we have rights as taxpayers (who knew?) and what to do when the IRS screws […]

  2. […] Taxpayer Bill of Rights specifically states that IRS agents must immediately adjourn any meeting where a taxpayer says he […]