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The Taxpayer’s Right to Finality


As taxpayers, we have a wide range of rights when it comes to dealing with the IRS. For instance, taxpayers have the right to be informed about IRS decisions, as well as the right to privacy and confidentiality, and the right to appeal the agency’s decisions. Of these rights, one of the most important is the right to finality, which includes the right to know how much time a taxpayer has to challenge the IRS. To ensure that your own rights and interests are protected in your dealings with the IRS, please reach out to an experienced Florida tax & IRS attorney who can advise you.

What is the Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

Taxpayers are guaranteed certain protections when communicating with the IRS. These protections are known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and include the right to:

  • Be informed, which includes the right to receive clear explanations of federal tax law and IRS procedures on all tax forms, publications, notices, and instructions and to receive details about IRS decisions;
  • Quality service, which includes the right to prompt, courteous, and professional assistance;
  • To pay no more than the correct amount of tax owed to the IRS;
  • Challenge the IRS by raising objections and providing additional documentation in response to IRS inquiries;
  • File an administrative appeal and if necessary, take a case to court;
  • Privacy, which means that taxpayers can expect all IRS inquiries, exams, and enforcement actions to comply with the law;
  • Confidentiality, which means that taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will remain undisclosed;
  • Retain legal representation to assist in any dealings with the IRS;
  • A fair and just tax system, which means that taxpayers can expect the IRS to take their facts and circumstances into consideration when assessing underlying liabilities, the ability to pay a tax debt, or the ability to provide information in a timely manner; and
  • Finality, which includes the right to know how much time they have to challenge the IRS’s claims.

All of these rights play a critical role in ensuring that taxpayers are not taken advantage of by the IRS and that they have the best possible chance of resolving any issues they have with that agency. However, of these rights, the right to finality is one of the most important.

The Right to Finality

The right to finality entitles taxpayers to certain information, including:

  • The maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS;
  • The amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year;
  • How much time the IRS has to collect a tax debt; and
  • When the IRS has finished an official audit.

Under the right to finality, the IRS has three years from the date that a taxpayer files his or her return to assess any additional taxes for that year. Similarly, the agency has ten years from the date of assessment of a tax debt to collect that amount from a taxpayer, unless a taxpayer is bankrupt or is subject to an ongoing collection process, in which case, the deadline can be extended.

Call an Experienced Florida Tax Attorney Today

Please contact the law firm of Ronald Cutler, P.A. at 386-490-9949 to speak with our legal team about protecting your rights when negotiating with the IRS.