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It may not feel like it, but taxpayers do have rights

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Are you among the many Missouri residents who feel as though the IRS holds all the cards? No one likes paying taxes, but most everyone (perhaps resentfully) understands that it’s a necessary evil. The problem is that it feels as though the IRS has unlimited power to wreak havoc on your life if you can’t pay your tax bill.

The IRS has the right to put a lien on your property, garnish your bank accounts and even come into your home and seize property. What about you, though? Don’t you have any rights as a taxpayer?

What rights do you have as a taxpayer?

Under the tax code, you receive the following rights as a taxpayer:

  • Any information you provide to the IRS must remain confidential unless you provide express permission for disclosure. The agency must investigate and take appropriate action against anyone violating the confidentiality of your information.
  • The IRS must respect your rights to due process, which includes your constitutional right against unlawful searches and seizures. Any examination, inquiry or enforcement action must not involve any more intrusion into your life than necessary.
  • The agency must provide clear explanations of any actions, forms or processes applicable to you. If you don’t understand a communication, you retain the right to ask further questions.
  • IRS agents must provide you with courteous, professional and prompt service in any dealings you have. If you don’t receive this type of service, you have the right to file a complaint.
  • You should only pay as much as you legally owe.
  • If you disagree with a tax assessment, you may challenge it. The IRS must provide you with the opportunity to provide information and documentation regarding your difference of opinion.
  • You retain the right to appeal decisions made by the agency with regard to your taxes.
  • The IRS must provide you information regarding the maximum amount of time you have to file an appeal, the amount of time it has to complete an audit and when it completes an audit.
  • The IRS must consider your financial circumstances, ability to pay and ability to provide information in a timely manner.

Finally, you retain the right to representation in your dealings with the IRS. The tax code remains an enigma to many people, and you may be among them. Having an experienced legal advocate to work with could relieve you of the stress and frustration of trying to defend yourself without fully understanding the code and knowing how it applies to your situation.

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