Changes to taxpayer rights

On July 1, 2019, a bill was signed by the president that is intended to protect taxpayers. Taxpayer rights are not new, but many felt that changes to these rights were long overdue. How will the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 benefit Connecticut residents?

Benefit number one: Change in the reviewing of innocent spouse cases. When married, one might face certain tax issues due to the actions of a spouse. Filing an innocent spouse claim is possible to seek relief when this happens. Unfortunately, many of these claims have been shut down and relief not granted. Now if that happens, those filing have the right to request that their petitions be reviewed in court for fresh eyes to look into the facts of the case before the granting or denying relief.

Benefit number two: Change in the appeals process/right to appeal. Agents with the Internal Revenue Service have not made appealing their decisions an easy task. This is supposedly changing. Taxpayers will now appeal to an independent office without having to go to court to face off against the IRS. They will simply be allowed to present their case to an unbiased third party who will then grant or deny the appeals request.

Benefit number three: Change in how taxpayers can be contacted. Before the IRS can contact third parties about one's specific tax issues, the agency must first supply notice that it intends to do so. The IRS now has to give, at minimum, 45 days notice that it plans to contact others about one's private tax matters.

There are several other reforms made to the taxpayer rights. All are good things and all should serve to protect Connecticut residents who find themselves facing tax problems. Those who do not wish to go up against the IRS alone, even with the new changes in place, can turn to legal counsel who may be able to assist them in resolving their tax situations as quickly and quietly as possible.

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