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Your Rights as a Taxpayer

Other Money & Debt Issues

This article provides information on your rights as a taxpayer in both the state and federal tax system.

Both the federal and Texas Taxpayer Bills of Rights provide taxpayers with information on their rights to fair process, review, privacy, and equality in the tax system. 

Your Rights as a Taxpayer

  • The Right to be Informed Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and state and federal procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of state and federal decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.
  • The Right to Quality Service Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS and the Texas Comptroller. This includes the right to be spoken to in a way that is easy to understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from these agencies, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.
  • The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the tax agency apply all tax payments properly. The right to challenge the agency's position and be heard. Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the agencies will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the tax agency does not agree with their position.
  • The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.
  • The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality Taxpayers have the right to expect that their privacy will be protected by due process standards. Taxpayers also have the right to expect that any information provided will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law.

What is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS. The Taxpayer Advocate Service offers advocacy for qualifying taxpayers who run into problems with the IRS. Check the Taxpayer Advocate Service to see if you qualify.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights with explanations

See the IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights for an explanation of each right.

See the Texas Taxpayer Bill of Rights for an explanation of rights unique to Texans. 

Taxpayer Bill of Rights Video