If you file your tax returns correctly and timely and pay any taxes due, you probably won't have to deal much with the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS (I-R-S). However, if you and the IRS disagree about your tax bill or you don't pay your taxes, you could find yourself dealing with the IRS quite a bit. In such encounters, it's important to treat auditors and collectors respectfully and to oblige their requests as much as possible. If you appeal a decision in court, your encounters with the IRS could be discussed. Never lie to an IRS employee; it's a federal crime. Keep your financial records for at least three years, and have all your documents prepared before interacting with an IRS representative. If you can't pay all your taxes, contact the IRS to discuss your options. Failing to file a return or to pay taxes at all can have serious consequences. Never ignore any correspondence from the IRS, especially if it's a bill; the IRS is much more powerful than the average bill collector. Also, make sure you know your rights as a taxpayer. Basically, the IRS outlines eight rights of taxpayers: protection of rights; privacy and confidentiality; professional and courteous service; representation; payment of only the correct amount of tax; help with tax problems; appeals and judicial review; and relief from certain penalties and interest. Acting responsibly and professionally and knowing your rights as a taxpayer can help make encounters with the IRS as smooth as possible.
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