What Are Your Rights as a Taxpayer?

April 02nd @ 9:48 am

Get a better understanding of your rights as a federal and state taxpayer.

April 15th is right around the corner, so while you prepare, it’s important to understand your rights as a taxpayer. The IRS and Ohio Department of Taxation have established a Bill of Rights to keep citizens informed of decisions regarding their tax accounts. Tax laws and the nomenclature surrounding them can be downright confusing, which further stresses why you should learn your rights and their obligations. Get a clear understanding of what is expected and allowed of taxpayers in Worthington, OH.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Each taxpayer should be aware of the following fundamental rights when dealing with the IRS.

The Right to Be Informed: The IRS must make you aware of all your specific tax duties and obligations, including sending notices for certain tax, interest, and penalties; disapproved refunds; audit authorizations, and more.

The Right to Quality Service: Many of your inquiries can be answered on irs.gov. You can also get in touch with our local IRS assistance center in Columbus. IRS employees must be prompt, provide clear explanations, and only call between 8 AM and 9 PM.

The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax: You have the right to file for a refund if you believe you overpaid your taxes or amend your tax return if you discover an error after you file. You can also dispute any mistakes made on the IRS’s side by contacting the office that sent the notice. Try to have supporting documentation ready to prove the error.

The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard: If you disagree with the IRS’s position, you may dispute the proposed action by contacting the office listed on your bill or notice. Keep in mind that you must dispute most errors within a specific timeframe (e.g., 60 days for math or clerical errors on a bill).

The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum: You can appeal most IRS decisions to the United States Tax Court, including penalties and unfavorable audit rulings.

The Right to Finality: When the IRS decides to audit, you have the right to know how long you have to challenge their decision; a deadline for when they must complete the audit; and when they have finished their audit.

The Right to Privacy: All IRS actions or inquiries must respect all due process rights and be no “more intrusive” than is necessary. This includes protecting an amount of your wages against levy, seizing certain personal property, and more.

The Right to Confidentiality: Any personal tax information must be confidential and only disclosed at your request or that of the law. However, you can request the IRS to disclose information to third-parties (e.g., for a mortgage or student loan application).

The Right to Retain Representation: You may seek representation from an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent in IRS dealings. If you cannot afford representation, you may request professional assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System: This guarantees that the IRS will consider personal circumstances surrounding your ability to pay and promptly respond to information. If financial hardship prevents you from paying your tax debt, you can enroll in a payment plan.

Ohio Taxpayer Rights

Through the Ohio Department of Taxation, these fundamental rights are granted for state tax payments, tax issues, and other related matters.

Audits: You must receive notice of an audit in a timely manner and may retain an attorney, account, or other authorized representative. During the audit, you may refuse questions, record, and pursue legal remedies if necessary.

Assessments: Once a bill for taxes, interest, or penalties is sent, you have 60 days to pay or file a petition for reassessment.

Final Determination and Appeals: If the Department rules unfavorably in your assessment, you can submit an appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals for a final determination.

Refunds: The Department must periodically review account balances and notify you of any overpaid amount. This balance may be applied to liabilities owed in the particular tax year.

Opinion of the Tax Commissioner: If you are unsure how to report a source of income, transaction, or activity, you can request an Opinion of the Tax Commissioner.

Problem Resolution Officer: If you have any outstanding inquiries or complaints with the Department exceeding an unreasonable amount of time, you may contact a Problem Resolution Officer.

Action for Damages: Inappropriate actions or inactions by the Department can be taken to the Ohio Court of Claims.

Following tax protocol is a large responsibility of all taxpayers, but remember that you are entitled to certain rights from tax agencies.

Understandably, tax time can cause panic for some. Partnering with a respected financial group in Worthington, OH can help alleviate some of this concern as you’ll have all the support you need to make the right decisions. For more information about taxpayers’ rights in Ohio, or individual tax planning, contact the Royal Oak Financial Group.

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