What rights do I have when audited?

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Updated: 3/27/2003 1:10 pm
As a taxpayer, you're granted certain rights by the federal government. One of these is the right to have the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS (I-R-S), explain your rights and protect them whenever you contact the IRS. You're also granted the right to professional and courteous service when dealing with the IRS, as well as privacy and confidentiality with regard to the information you submit to the IRS. When dealing with the IRS, you may be represented by a recognized professional, or you may act in your own behalf. You also have the right to pay only the correct amount of taxes you owe and to receive assistance with any tax disputes. It's your right to appeal an IRS decision and to have your case reviewed by other judicial bodies. If you disagree with an auditor's conclusion, you have the right to appeal the decision to the IRS or to a federal court. However, there are certain procedures to follow and specific time limitations that must be considered. If you're being audited by the IRS, you have certain rights, as well. For example, during an audit, you can either have someone represent you or you can represent yourself. You have the right to tape-record (RE-cord) the audit, but you must notify the IRS in writing at least 10 days in advance of the meeting. Similarly, the IRS has the same right to record the audit and must give you 10 days advance notice. You also have the right to request that your case be transferred to another district if it could be examined more quickly than in the district in which you live. It's your right as a taxpayer to be provided with an explanation of your taxes and the reasons for any changes. If you'd like more information regarding your rights when audited, contact a tax professional.

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