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Taxpayer Bill of Rights (Part IX)

The IRS has adopted a Taxpayer Bill of Rights as proposed by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson

Bill of Right #6: The Right to Finality (cont.)

Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.

What This Means for You

  • The IRS generally has three years from the date your return was filed to assess the tax. There are some limited exceptions to the 3-year rule, such as not filing a return or filing a fraudulent return. IRC § 6501
  • I The IRS generally has ten years from the assessment date to collect unpaid taxes from you. However, there are a number of circumstances where the ten year collection period may be suspended, such as during the period when the IRS cannot collect, e.g., bankruptcy or a collection due process proceeding, or an offer in compromise is pending. IRC § 6502
  • If you believe you have overpaid your taxes, you can file a refund claim asking for the money back. Generally, you must file a refund claim within 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. IRC § 6511
    See also IRC § 6402:  Administrative claim for refund under the Right to Pay No More than the correct amount of tax.
  • If you or the IRS does not file a timely appeal, the decision of the U.S. Tax Court is final. IRC § 7481
  • Generally, you will only be subject to one examination per taxable year. However, the IRS may reopen a taxable year that has been previously examined if the IRS finds it necessary (e.g., there is evidence of fraud). IRC § 7605(b)

(IRS NTA web site) (TTT 6/19/18)