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What are my rights during a tax audit?

A tax audit can be an uncomfortable situation, but you still have rights during the process. The IRS has to treat you fairly and allow you certain accommodations.

While it is your job to comply with requests and to be honest with the agents, you also need to stand up for your rights as a taxpayer.


You have the right to keep your business private and confidential. You will have to share details with the officials handling your case, but they cannot share that information with outsiders. Even if they must do investigations into your claims, they cannot violate your privacy in doing so.


You have the right to appeal any decision made by the IRS in your case. You can appeal through the agency or you can take the case to court.


You have the right to get information about what the IRS is doing and why they are doing it. You can ask questions and deserve answers. The IRS has to tell you why they are collecting information and what they will do with it.


You have the right to fair treatment. Officials have to treat you well and with professionalism.


Finally, you have the right to stand up for yourself and be involved in the audit process. You can also appoint someone else to handle the matter for you.

If you have a situation where you are under a tax audit, you need to stand up for your rights as a taxpayer. Make sure you demand transparency, privacy and courteous treatment throughout the process.