Check taxpayer rights with one click

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Few people are looking for a fight with the Internal Revenue Service. But if you do happen to have problems with the agency this tax season — or anytime — there’s a Web site you can visit for help.

The IRS has placed all taxpayer rights information in one Internet location. Its Taxpayer Rights Corner consolidates data that previously was scattered throughout the agency’s main Web site.

Created as a “one-stop taxpayer shop,” the site was created by the reorganized agency to meet congressional orders that taxpayers receive better treatment. Web topics range from basic taxpayer information to details on IRS examination and collection procedures to a how-to on getting help from the IRS.

Highlighted taxpayer concerns include:
The Declaration of Taxpayer Rights, detailing what taxpayers can expect when dealing with the agency.
Links to common IRS notices, what they mean and what a taxpayer should do if he or she gets one.
A look at examination and collection issues, with links to publications outlining the IRS processes.
How a taxpayer can appeal IRS decisions he or she believes are incorrect or unfair.
What to expect when the agency initiates tax bill-collection efforts.

The site also has sections on the agency’s Taxpayer Advocate Service, innocent spouse tax concerns, confidentiality issues and taxpayer legal representation rights.

Freelance writer Kay Bell writes Bankrate’s tax stories from her Austin, Texas, home. She also writes two tax blogs, Bankrate’s Eye on the IRS, and Don’t Mess With Taxes.

— Updated: Feb. 12, 2008