The Right to Retain Representation: Taxpayer Bill of Rights #9
The right to retain representation when dealing with the IRS is one of ten rights in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Taxpayers who interact with the IRS should be aware of their rights.
The right to representation means:
- Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS.
- Taxpayers who are heading to an interview with the IRS may select someone to represent them.
- Taxpayers who retain representation don’t have to attend with their representative, unless the IRS formally summons them to appear.
- In most situations, the IRS must suspend an interview if the taxpayer requests to consult with a representative, such as an attorney, certified public accountant or enrolled agent.
- Any attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled actuary or other person permitted to represent a taxpayer before the IRS, who’s not disbarred or suspended from practice before the IRS, may submit a written power of attorney to represent a taxpayer before the IRS.
- Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.
- Taxpayers with income below a certain level may ask an LITC to represent them in their tax dispute before the IRS or a federal court. Help from an LITC can be free or for a minimal fee. Many LITCs offer services in languages other than English. Although LITCs receive partial funding from the IRS, they and their employees and volunteers are completely independent of the IRS.