Majority of taxpayers don't know they have rights before the IRS

Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson says a survey by her office last year found that 55 percent of taxpayers don't think they have any rights when dealing with the IRS. Only 9 percent knew correctly that they did.

Olson says on her blog that Congress passed three pieces of legislation since 2007 giving taxpayers greater protections.

She writes: “As a result of legislation, we have taxpayer rights, but no one knows what they are. And if taxpayers don’t know what their rights are, how can they claim them?”

She wants Congress to pass a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Not to create new rights, but to make it easier for taxpayers to know them.

Her Bill of Rights would include:

1. The right to be informed.

2. The right to be assisted.

3. The right to be heard.

4. The right to pay the correct amount of tax due.

5. The right to an appeal (administrative and judicial).

6. The right to certainty.

7. The right to privacy (to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures).

8. The right to confidentiality.

9. The right to representation.

10. The right to a fair and just tax system.

How about the right that tax laws be easy to understand?

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