National Taxpayer Advocate Issues Annual Report to Congress: Emphasis Needs to be Placed Taxpayer’s Rights

by Harry Galstian

February 14, 2014

A report shows less than half of taxpayers know they have rights before the IRS. Direct Tax Relief assists clients that have audits or balances due with the IRS and educate them on their taxpayer’s rights.

It was announced by the Internal Revenue Service (IR-2014-3, Jan. 9, 2014) that the National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson released her 2013 annual report to Congress, urging the Internal Revenue Service to adopt a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights – a step she said would increase trust in the agency and, more generally, strengthen its ability to serve taxpayers and collect tax.

The annual report (Volume One – Page 5) pointed out that of U.S. taxpayers conducted for the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) in 2012, less than half said they believed they have rights before the IRS, and only 11 percent said they knew what those rights are (Forrester Research Inc., The TAS Omnibus Analysis, from North American Technographics Omnibus Mail Survey).

“What that survey shows,” pointed out Maurice Rosaler, DTR’s senior enrolled agent who has been involved in tax resolution for over 26 years, “is that most people who deal with the IRS think they have no rights and the few that don’t know what those rights are.”

“That really puts the taxpayer at a disadvantage,” continued Rosaler, a former IRS revenue officer and manager, “when they contact the government to try to resolve their tax issues. They think they have to go along with whatever the government agent decides no matter the financial impact or consequences.”

Rosaler noted that the Advocate’s report states (Volume One- Page 5) that the Internal Revenue Code provides dozens of real, substantive taxpayer rights. However, these rights are scattered throughout the Code and are not presented in a coherent way. Consequently, most taxpayers have no idea what their rights are and therefore often cannot take advantage of them.

“The average taxpayer is at such a disadvantage when dealing with the IRS due to a lack of knowledge of IRS procedures and their rights,” the former revenue officer stated, “that taxpayer often does themselves more harm than good when they call the IRS or accept what the IRS says at face value and think they can’t disagree with the government and that is not the case. Many decisions of the IRS can be appealed.”

Among the rights taxpayers do have Rosaler listed is the right to know the fair and correct tax due and the basis of the assessment causing the liability; the right to have an accounting of all payments applied to the tax and the right to appeal any audit.

“The list of rights,” Direct Tax Relief’s senior enrolled agent said, “goes on and on and the best way any taxpayer dealing with the IRS whether it’s on IRS levies or audits or liens or seizures or Offer in Compromise is to get professional help by looking for and retaining a trusted tax relief firm with attorneys and enrolled agents who specialize in this field of tax resolution and know, really know, in-depth the taxpayer of the right’s have before the government. The best way is to look for an authentic tax relief firm like Direct Tax Relief which is listed with the BBB with an A rating and zero complaints.”

“You get an IRS Notice in the mail,” Rosaler added, “or a revenue officer knocks on your door or you’re called into an IRS audit, and it’s panic time. So in that state of alarm, you contact the IRS and let them dictate to you what’s going to happen and even if you disagree you go along because you’re both intimidated and you don’t know you have rights. What you really need is someone to advocate for you, someone like a qualified tax resolution specialist like the tax attorneys and enrolled agents we have at Direct Tax Relief to fight on your behalf and who know your rights and ensure they’re respected.”

“Tax professionals,” Rosaler observed, “are skilled and educated in this and are going to get the client the best possible results.”

“Look,” the 26-year tax resolution veteran said, “even the IRS itself with this report from their own Advocate’s office admits there is a problem with respecting taxpayer’s rights!”

The Advocate’s report (Volume One-Page 5) stated that the government must do a better job of making taxpayers aware of their rights and enabling them to assert those rights.

“Until that day comes,” Rosaler concluded, “the best recourse for any taxpayer with tax problems is to go get professional help.”

Direct Tax Relief has extensive experience as a tax relief company and has represented numerous clients since 2007 providing professional legal tax advice to resolve tax matters including Offer in Compromise, levy and garnishment release, appeal penalties, and establishing minimal payment plans to the government.


  • Rights-as-a-Framework-for-Effective-Tax-Administration.pdf