Taxpayer Rights


Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

As recommended by the National Taxpayer Advocate, the IRS has adopted a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights groups the dozens of existing rights in the Internal Revenue Code into ten fundamental rights, and makes these rights more clear, more understandable, and more quickly available to taxpayers.   

“At their core, taxpayer rights are human rights” 
– National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson

Your rights as a taxpayer

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

You have rights as a taxpayer when dealing with the IRS.

Your Rights to Retain Representation

You have the right to retain an authorized representative of your choice to represent you in your dealings with the IRS.  

Your rights in IRS processes


The IRS accepts most returns as filed but if your return is audited, you have rights. If the IRS proposes additional tax and you don’t agree that you owe it, you have the right to challenge that decision.

  • Publication 556PDF: Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refunds


If the IRS moves to collect overdue tax from you, you have rights. If you owe tax but can’t pay in full, you may be able to pay in installments or appeal the collection action.


You have the right to appeal many actions the IRS taken in examination and collection.

  • Topic 151: Your Appeal Rights
  • Publication 5PDF: Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest if You Don't Agree

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS and is your voice at the IRS. TAS is led by the National Taxpayer Advocate and has employees throughout the country whose job is to make sure every taxpayer is treated fairly, and that you know and understand your rights. We offer free help to guide you through the often-confusing process of resolving your tax problems that you haven’t been able to solve on your own.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

What you should know