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Right to Confidentiality

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What is My ‘Right to Confidentiality?’

Taxpayers have the right to be assured that the IRS will not divulge any information they give them unless they give permission or it is required by law. Taxpayers have a right to believe that anyone using or disclosing taxpayer return information improperly shall be disciplined appropriately, including workers, return preparers, and others.

The taxpayer has a right to confidentiality when it comes to their tax information. Here are some key aspects of the taxpayer’s right to confidentiality:

  1. Protection of Personal and Financial Information: Taxpayers have the right to expect that any personal and financial information they provide to the IRS will be kept confidential. This includes sensitive details such as Social Security numbers, income information, and other personal identifiers.
  2. Limits on Disclosure: The IRS is generally prohibited from disclosing taxpayer information to unauthorized parties unless there is a specific legal basis for doing so. This ensures that taxpayer information remains protected and is not disclosed without proper authorization.
  3. Safeguards in Place: The IRS has implemented robust security measures to safeguard taxpayer information. These measures include encryption, secure data storage, access controls, and employee training on the importance of confidentiality.
  4.  Consent Requirement: Before sharing taxpayer information with third parties, the IRS typically requires the taxpayer’s consent or authorization. This ensures that taxpayers have control over the disclosure of their information.
  5. Exceptions: While taxpayer information is generally kept confidential, there are certain situations where limited disclosure may be necessary. This can include situations such as sharing information with certain government agencies for law enforcement purposes or as required by court orders.

What to Expect

  1. In general, unless you give them permission, the IRS typically does not share your tax information to third parties. Only if you ask them to provide information for a mortgage or student loan application would they do so.
  2. Normally, the IRS must provide you with sufficient notice in advance before contacting third parties like your employer, neighbors, or bank to obtain information needed to amend or collect the tax you owe.
  3. In general, certain interactions with a person qualified for services before the IRS, such as a certified public accountant or registered agent, are subject to the same confidentiality safeguards that you have with an attorney.
  4. Tax preparers risk criminal penalties and prison time if they knowingly or unintentionally divulge or use your tax information for any purpose other than preparing your tax return.

Quick Fact

The right to privacy includes safeguards that prevent the IRS from using taxpayer information for purposes other than tax administration. This protection ensures that personal and financial information shared with the IRS remains confidential and is not disclosed to unauthorized parties.

If you or someone you know needs help on how to deal with confidentiality problems with the IRS, seek professional help. Call Priority Tax Relief for a FREE consultation at 800-493-8308.

Frequently Asked Questions: Right to Confidentiality

 In such cases, resolution may involve receiving compensation for financial losses, emotional distress, or other damages caused by the actions of the IRS.

Yes, a court has the authority to issue orders that restrict or regulate the investigative powers of the IRS when their practices are found to be in violation of the rights of taxpayers.

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