Taxpayer Bill of Rights 4: Your Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard

Taxpayer Bill of Rights 4: Your Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard

By Dave Horwedel, EA

You have a right to disagree with the IRS. Sometimes, the IRS makes mistakes, and you can take a different position than the IRS. This is your RIGHT! However, your position must be in accordance with the law. I know some people who take the position that they should not have to pay taxes at all, never, regardless of their income. Some even believe that the IRS has no right to collect taxes and that it is entirely voluntary. These sorts of positions are not going to win with the IRS. You can say whatever you want to the IRS, but unless they agree that your position is correct, they will not accept it.

You DO have the right to challenge the IRS’s position. If you can state your case understandably, communicate it correctly, and your position is legally correct, you should win. If substantial sums are involved, it might be wise to have a veteran EA, CPA, or Tax Attorney prepare your submission, as it is easy to get a rejection on some technicality.

Let me provide you with an example. I was on the phone with an IRS Employee who had incorrectly ruled on a matter of considerable financial impact for my client. She claimed it was too late to correct the matter at hand and said the client’s time was up.

I let her know that this was not fair to my client and explained the actions we had already taken to handle the situation. I then informed her that my next call would be to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), and that the TAS would, as is their standard procedure, give me her manager’s name and contact number, and ask me to contact the manager.

She then said, “OK. I will need the following data in 7 days.”

What happened? I had challenged her position verbally, and in a way she knew might very well work, and it would make her look bad. I knew the right words to say. This is an example of how being represented by an experienced EA, CPA, or Tax Attorney can be to your advantage.

Also, be aware that many EAs, CPAs, and Attorneys do not engage in IRS Representation on a routine basis. Tax preparers who are not EAs, CPAs, or Attorneys are generally not going to be able to help you out here as well. It is related to tax preparation, but it is a different skill set.

It’s no secret that dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be challenging, with its intricate regulations, jargon-filled communications, and the potential for disputes over tax liabilities.

We can help level the playing field and provide the support you need.

The right to challenge the IRS’s position is an essential aspect of taxpayer rights. Below is an article taken straight from the IRS. It is worth reading.

Some taxpayers hate reading anything from the IRS. If you do not want to read it and need some sort of tax assistance, contact Torchlight Tax at (1) 877-758-7797 or send an email to

We can assist you in tax planning, filing your tax returns to minimize your liability, or representing you before the IRS. IRS Representation includes negotiating or settling IRS debt on the most favorable terms, representing you in an audit, and doing IRS levy and lien defense.

To learn more about how to legally save money on your taxes, visit our blog at or watch videos on the Torchlight Tax YouTube Channel to learn more about us. Visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.. Don’t forget to like and share this article.

Below is the article from the IRS website verbatim.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a cornerstone document that highlights the 10 fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these rights in the event they need to work with the IRS on a personal tax matter. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers. The IRS also regularly reminds its employees about these rights. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, includes a full list of taxpayers’ rights.

It includes The Right to Challenge the IRS’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 IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.

What you can expect:

  • If the IRS notifies you that your tax return has a math or clerical error, you have 60 days to tell the IRS that you disagree. You should provide photocopies of any records that may help correct the error. In addition, you may call the number listed on your notice or bill for help. If the IRS agrees with your position, we will make the necessary adjustment to your account and send you a corrected notice.
  • If the IRS does not adopt your position, it will send a notice proposing a tax adjustment (known as a statutory notice of deficiency). The statutory notice of deficiency gives you the right to challenge the proposed adjustment in the United States Tax Court before paying it. To do this, you need to file a petition within 90 days of the date of the notice (150 days if the notice is addressed to you outside the United States). For more information about the United States Tax Court, see the Court’s taxpayer information page.
  • If you submit documentation or raise objections during a return examination (or audit), and the IRS does not agree with your position, it will issue you a statutory notice of deficiency. This notice will explain why the IRS is increasing your tax, which gives you the right to petition the U.S. Tax Court prior to paying the tax.
  • When the IRS notifies you of plans to levy your bank account or other property, you’ll generally have an opportunity to request a hearing before the Office of Appeals. Also, you’ll generally have an opportunity to appeal the proposed or actual filing of a notice of federal tax lien.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you visit the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s website.

By making this important publication available in multiple languages, the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. The IRS has more tax information in other languages too. See the “Languages” menu at the bottom of any page.

The IRS also is committed to protecting taxpayers’ civil rights. The IRS will not tolerate discrimination based on age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent. This includes any contact with IRS employees and the staff or volunteers at community sites.

If a taxpayer faces discrimination, they can send a written complaint PDF to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

Contact Torchlight Tax at 877-758-7797 or for a free consultation.

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