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What are your rights as a taxpayer?

The Internal Revenue Service is a powerful agency. The law gives it broad latitude to collect what you owe to the government, such as garnishing your wages or putting a lien against your home.

Nevertheless, for all the power that the IRS has, you still have certain rights as a taxpayer. Here are some of the most important rights explained.

Fair and just tax system

Certain circumstances may affect your ability to pay your taxes. Under a fair and just tax system, the IRS must take these circumstances into consideration.


Tax laws can be complex, but you have a right to an explanation of your tax situation. The IRS must communicate clearly what you have to do to be in compliance with applicable tax laws.

Privacy and confidentiality

Privacy means that IRS agents will respect your rights to due process and not become any more intrusive than necessary during the course of the investigation. Confidentiality means that the IRS will not disclose information that it finds out about you unless you authorize it or the law demands it.

Challenges and appeals

If you disagree with the position the IRS has taken against you, you have the right to challenge it. If you still disagree with the decision that results from the challenge, you have the right to take it to the Office of Appeals. You can also have the decision appealed in an independent forum by taking the case to court.

Due to the right of representation, you do not have to go alone when appealing through administrative channels or going to court.