tax lawyer

Do I have Privacy Rights in My Interactions with the IRS?


Even the IRS is required to comply with due process.  In any collection interactions, the IRS must not use intrusive means to gain information.  They are not allowed to violate any search and seizure laws, and they must respect your right to privacy.

The IRS calls their “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” a “cornerstone document” which spotlights the fundamental rights taxpayers have when they interact with the IRS. In this important document, the IRS explains specific rights people have and how they pertain to different situations.  The IRS states that they want people to know their rights and that they ensure their employees are well versed in the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.” 

“The Right to Privacy” is one of the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights,” and it guarantees taxpayers certain protections which we will discuss in this article.  The IRS is not above the law.  They are required to follow search and seizure laws and provide due process.  What this actually means in “real life” can be uncertain.  It may be hard for people to determine if the IRS is overstepping its boundaries, which is why discussing your situation with a tax lawyer in Sarasota is helpful.

The Law Office of Mary E. King, P.L. can make sure that your tax planning and other issues are resolved efficiently and at the lowest cost to you.  Please fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585 today.

1. Is the IRS Limited in How Much of My Income they Can Take?

One way the IRS collects tax debt is by garnishing income.  They refer to it as levying or seizing your income. They must follow specific procedures to do this which includes ample notice of their intent.  The IRS will generally only levy your income after payment discussions fail to gain the IRS the money the taxpayer owes to them.

If they do plan to levy income, then they must provide a notice called “First Notice of Intent to Levy.” Taxpayers can prevent the levy by paying the amount due before the time limit in the notice. This can be by paying it in full or by making an installment agreement with the IRS.   

They can levy different sources of income you may have and have a specific formula they use to determine how much they can take.  Their formula uses a standard deduction along with personal exemption deductions.  Using this formula and limiting what they can take is part of the “Right to Privacy” part of the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.”  If you have received a notice that the IRS plans to levy your income, then call a tax lawyer in Sarasota to discuss your options.

2. Can the IRS Seize Everything I Own?

“The Right to Privacy” ensures that the IRS complies with laws about what they can take from you to satisfy the tax debt.  They are not allowed to just come in and take everything they own.  They are limits on the items they are allowed to seize.  A tax lawyer in Sarasota can discuss these limits with you. 

For example, they cannot take many items they deem personal in nature like clothing, textbooks.  They cannot come in and take every single item of furniture you own.  The IRS has to leave a set-out amount of furniture and other miscellaneous household items.  They cannot take a taxpayer’s primary residence without court approval.  Any IRS action to collect tax debt must not be unnecessarily intrusive. 

3. How Much Personal Information Can the IRS Ask For?

If the IRS performs an audit because they have questions about your tax return, they may ask for more information so they can complete the audit.  While they may be entitled to ask for more of your financial information as it relates to your tax returns and income, this does not give them carte blanche to ask about all areas of your life.  

They cannot “seek intrusive and extraneous information about your lifestyle” as part of a fishing expedition on their part.  The IRS cannot intrude on your privacy and ask about details of your lifestyle that are not necessary to the audit. If you are under audit, it is best to protect yourself and contact a tax lawyer in Sarasota to represent you in your IRS dispute.

A Tax Lawyer in Sarasota Will Ensures Your Privacy Rights Are Protected.  

Consider reaching out to the Law Offices of Mary E. King for help.  Tax matters can be complicated, and thus, it is always helpful to have someone in your corner who understands the tax law and deals with the IRS on a regular basis.  Indeed, beyond just the tax laws, there could be other issues with which a seasoned tax attorney can help.  

So, when it comes to dealing with tax questions, tax relief, and tax litigation, you need to talk to a tax lawyer in Sarasota who can help.  Mary E. King has spent her career concentrating in tax law and can help you in Florida and elsewhere.  Attorney King has a wealth of information about what types of options would make the most sense for you or your business.

That helps explain why she’s received an A+ rating from the Florida Better Business Bureau. If you have a tax related issue – no matter how small or how large – setting up an initial consultation with Mary E. King, tax lawyer of Florida, is the first step you should take towards relief.

The Law Office of Mary King P.L. offers complete IRS problem-solving services including all areas from tax debt settlement to planning the most efficient tax strategy for individuals and businesses.  Call us today to schedule an initial consultation.  With years of experience as Sarasota IRS Attorneys for many clients, Attorney Mary E. King can make sure that your tax issues are resolved in your favor.  Fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585.   Remember, at the Law Office of Mary E. King, we are focused on solving your tax issues for good.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.  You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post.  No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied.  If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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