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Right to Retain Representation

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What is My ‘Right to Retain Representation?’

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Taxpayers are entitled to hiring their own authorized representative to act on their behalf when they communicate with the IRS.  If a taxpayer cannot afford legal representation, they have the right to seek aid from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. This allows taxpayers to obtain expert advice, guidance, and representation to navigate complex tax laws and ensure their interests are protected.

Communications between taxpayers and their authorized representatives are generally protected by attorney-client privilege or other legal privileges, ensuring confidentiality and promoting open and honest discussions.

Quick Fact

You have the right to engage or disengage the services of a representative at any time during the tax process. This provides flexibility and allows taxpayers to choose the representation that best suits their needs.

What to Expect

  1. You can choose someone to represent you at a meeting with the IRS, such as an attorney, certified public accountant, or enrolled agent. Unless the IRS issues a formal summons to your appearance, you are not required to attend with your representative.
  2. If you ask to consult with a representative, such as an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent, the IRS may typically suspend an interview.
  3. Any individual authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS, such as an attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, or enrolled actuary, may do so by submitting a written power of attorney on your behalf. The person cannot have their profession prohibited or suspended before the IRS.
  4. You may contact a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic to represent you in a tax dispute with the IRS or in court if your income is below a specified level. Services are provided for no cost or at a low cost. In addition to English, several LITCs provide services in additional languages. Despite receiving a portion of their financing from the IRS, LITCs, their staff, and their volunteers are unaffiliated with the agency.

If you or someone you know needs help on looking for a representative when dealing with the IRS, seek professional help. Call Priority Tax Relief for a FREE consultation at 800-493-8308.

Frequently Asked Questions: Right to Retain Representation

A Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) is a program established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide free or low-cost legal assistance and representation to taxpayers who have limited income and are experiencing tax-related issues. 

LITCs provide guidance on tax issues, help taxpayers resolve disputes with the IRS, negotiate installment agreements, and pursue appeals or settlement options. They can also educate taxpayers about their rights, responsibilities, and available tax credits or deductions.

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