- Medical and Dental Expenses
- Taxes You Paid
- Interest You Paid
- Gifts to Charity
- Casualty and Theft Losses
- Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Deductions
- Other Miscellaneous Deductions
“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.”
“4. Representation. You may either represent yourself or, with proper written authorization, have someone else represent you in your place. Your representative must be a person allowed to practice before the IRS, such as an attorney, certified public accountant, or enrolled agent. If you are in an interview and ask to consult such a person, then we must stop and reschedule the interview in most cases. “You can have someone accompany you at an interview. You may make sound recordings of any meetings with our examination, appeal, or collection personnel, provided you tell us in writing 10 days before the meeting.”Based on my own experience, when a taxpayer wanted to record our interview, it made me even more cautious about what I was saying. That is not to say that I wasn’t careful to speak the truth or to act in a courteous manner without the recording. It meant that as IRS employees, we were less spontaneous. We were more guarded in what we said. Every case that is worked by any IRS employee is subject to review by their division’s review staff. If the reviewer has questions about determinations made, the case can be “kicked back” to the auditor for explanation. If the review staff feels the case has not been developed fully, or worked properly, it will not be closed until the auditor addresses the concern of the reviewer. As the auditor gains experience on the job, the better judgment they develop and the fewer cases are returned by the reviewer. But a random case will still be subject to review at any time in the examiner’s career. When the taxpayer wants to record the interview, they must request this 10 days in advance of the appointment so that the auditor can arrange for their own recording device. The auditor will also have their supervisor, or another auditor, present during this recording. Will you have someone accompany you? Or will you feel outnumbered? Do you want this interview to be the most formal or the most comfortable? I know, it is never comfortable in the audit “hot seat.” Next post I’ll talk about the remaining four taxpayer rights.