WASHINGTON (6/13/14)--The Internal Revenue Service has adopted a 10-part "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" that is intended to provide consumers with a better understanding of their rights within the tax code.
"This information is critically important for taxpayers to read and understand," said IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen. "We encourage people to take a moment to read the 'Taxpayer Bill of Rights,' especially when they are interacting with the IRS. While these rights have always been there for taxpayers, we think the time is right to highlight and showcase these rights for people to plainly see."
The document is intended to take the rights embedded in the tax code and make them more visible by grouping them into 10 categories, similar to the Bill of Rights that appends the U.S. Constitution.
It has been incorporated into a redesigned version of Publication 1, a document that is routinely included in IRS correspondence with taxpayers. This comes after several years of discussions with the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent office within the IRS meant to represent the interests of taxpayers.
Nina E. Olson, the head of the TAS, said adoption of a "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" has been a goal since 2007 and listed it as the top priority of her office in her most recent annual report to Congress.
"[T]axpayer surveys conducted by my office have found that most taxpayers do not believe they have rights before the IRS and even fewer can name their rights," she said. "I believe the list of core taxpayer rights the IRS is announcing today will help taxpayers better understand their rights in dealing with the tax system."
The 10 provisions in the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" are:
Koskinen said the IRS plans to highlight the publication in mailings to taxpayers, all IRS facilities, the IRS.gov website and the IRS employee intranet. The publication initially will be available in English and Spanish, with versions in Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese to come.