The Right to Privacy
According to a new tax tip from from the IRS, the taxpayers of America should rest easy knowing that their privacy is paramount to the IRS. The IRS has a Taxpayer Bill of Rights which lists out 10 fundamental rights all taxpayers should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. The rights include; 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 Confidentiality, The Right to Retain Representation, The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System, and The Right to Privacy.
The Right to Privacy ensures that taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary. Taxpayers can also expect that the IRS will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.
Below are a few more details the IRS provided about what a taxpayer’s right to privacy means:
- The IRS cannot seize certain personal items, such as schoolbooks, clothing and undelivered mail
- The IRS cannot seize a personal residence without first getting court approval, and the agency must show there is no reasonable alternative for collecting the tax debt
- Sometimes, taxpayers submit offers to settle their tax debt that relate only to how much they owe. This is formally known as a Doubt as to Liability Offer in Compromise. Taxpayers who make this offer do not need to submit any financial documentation
- During an audit, if the IRS finds no reasonable indication that a taxpayer has no unreported income, the agency will not seek intrusive and extraneous information about the taxpayer’s lifestyle
- A taxpayer can expect that the IRS’s collection actions are no more intrusive than necessary. During a collection due process hearing, the Office of Appeals must balance that expectation with the IRS’s proposed collection action and the overall need for efficient tax collection