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Taxpayer Bill of Rights: #2, The Right to Quality Service

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 Quality Service.

Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

What you can expect:

  • You can find answers to most tax questions on IRS.gov. If you cannot find an answer to your tax issue on the IRS website or in published instructions, please contact the IRS for help. IRS representatives care about the quality of the service provided to you and are available to help. Here are some things to consider when contacting the IRS.
    • The IRS provides a contact phone number on the top right corner of the notice or letter.
    • IRS representatives should listen objectively and consider all relevant information.
    • They should answer questions promptly, accurately and thoroughly.
  • Generally, you can speak to an employee’s supervisor if you have a problem.
  • When collecting tax, the IRS should treat you with courtesy. Generally, the IRS should only contact you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. The IRS should not contact you at your place of employment if the IRS knows or has reason to know that your employer does not allow such contacts. Be mindful of tax scams. Remember, the IRS does not make aggressive phone calls that threaten arrest or prison.
  • The IRS must include information about your right to get help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service in all statutory notices of deficiency. It should tell you how to contact TAS.
  • If you are eligible for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) assistance, the IRS may provide information about your options for legal help.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you visit http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov.

The IRS offers Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, in several languages. 

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 top of any IRS.gov 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 to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

Additional IRS Resources