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Young Woman On The Telephone And ComputerToday I will finish the second half of what we might call the IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights. They call it the Declaration of Taxpayer Rights. If you want to see the IRS Mission Statement, go back to the earlier two articles on this topic. I became The IRS Insider based on my personal experience as an income tax auditor. The IRS is a BIG organization. My perspective is limited to the Examination and Appeals Divisions.  I have colleagues who help me and help you with the Collections side of the big tax machine. Remember, every employee of the government is a person, an individual with a job to do. Are they just like you? Does one of you throw your weight around? Can you follow the Golden Rule and still protect yourself? Yes, I believe you can. The Golden Rule is NOT “He who has the gold, rules.” The Golden Rule is NOT “Do unto others before they do unto you.” The Golden Rule is  “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” You can always catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. The very next right is all about the gold, IRS Collections.

5. Payment of Only the Correct Amount of Tax. You are responsible for paying only the correct amount of tax due under the law — no more, no less. If you cannot pay all of your tax when it is due, you may be able to make monthly installment payments.

6. Help With Unresolved Tax Problems. The Taxpayer Advocate Service can help you if you have tried unsuccessfully to resolve a problem with the IRS. Your local Taxpayer Advocate can offer you special help if you have a significant hardship as a result of a tax problem. For more information, call toll free 1-877-777-4778 (1-800-829-4059 for TTY/TDD) or write to he Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS office that last contacted you.

7. Appeals and Judicial Review. If you disagree with us about the amount of your tax liability or certain collection actions, you have the right to ask the Appeals Office to review your case. You may also ask a court to review your case.

8. Relief From Certain Penalties and Interest. The IRS will waive penalties when allowed by law if you can show you acted reasonably and in good faith or relied on the incorrect advice of an IRS employee. We will waive interest that is the result of certain errors or delays caused by an IRS employee.”

Often I quote Justice Learned Hand, judge of the US Court of Appeals, who said,

“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as

possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the

treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.

Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister

in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone

does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any

public duty to pay more than the law demands.”