The Internal Revenue Service just announced it has adopted a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” that is meant to provide taxpayers with a better understanding of their rights when dealing with back tax or audit problems.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights takes taxpayers’ existing rights embedded in the law and puts them into 10 categories, making them easier for taxpayers to find on the IRS website.

Publication 1, “Your Rights as a Taxpayer,” has been revised to include the 10 rights and will be sent to taxpayers who receive IRS notices on issues from audits to collection. The rights will also be displayed at all IRS offices for taxpayers and employees to see.

IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen said “The Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains fundamental information to help taxpayers. These are core concepts about which taxpayers should be aware. Respecting taxpayer rights continues to be a top priority for IRS employees, and the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights summarizes these important protections in a clearer, more understandable format than ever before.”

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights was released after extensive discussions with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent office inside the IRS that represents the interests of U.S. taxpayers. Since 2007, adopting a Taxpayer Bill of Rights has been a goal of National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson.

The tax law includes various taxpayer rights, but they are scattered throughout the tax code, making it difficult for people to follow and understand. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains the following 10 provisions.

• The Right to Be Informed

• The Right to Quality Service

• The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax

• The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard

• The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum

• The Right to Finality

• The Right to Privacy

• The Right to Confidentiality

• The Right to Retain Representation

• The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

The rights have been incorporated into a newly revised Publication 1, a document that is routinely included in IRS correspondence with taxpayers. The new version has been added to IRS website.

The issuance of the revised Publication 1 is extremely important as the IRS is in the peak of its correspondence mailing season as taxpayers start to receive follow-up correspondence from the 2014 filing season. The publication initially will be available in English and Spanish, and updated versions will soon be available in Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese

Commissioner Koskinen went on to say “I also want to emphasize that the concept of taxpayer rights is not a new one for IRS employees; they embrace it in their work every day. But our establishment of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is also a clear reminder that all of the IRS takes seriously our responsibility to treat taxpayers fairly”.

If you are experiencing IRS collection or audit problems call the tax professionals at East Coast Tax Consulting Group today to learn how we can help you resolve your back taxes.