It should go without saying that you only have an obligation to pay the amount of taxes you actually owe. The question that arises more often than you may realize is exactly what that amount is.
The fact is that parties on both sides of the issue can make mistakes or oversights that could end up costing you money. For this reason, it is imperative to double-check everything before making any payment to the IRS.
It’s your right as a taxpayer
Have you heard of the taxpayer bill of rights? While the IRS does outline your rights on its website, it may not advertise your rights as much as you and others would like. Number three on that list is your right to “pay no more than the correct amount of tax.” What does that mean for you? Below are the highlights:
- If the IRS sends you a bill or notice and you disagree with the amount the agency claims you owe, you have the right to object in writing and provide evidence. The IRS may adjust the amount if it agrees with you.
- If you believe you overpaid, you can send the IRS a request for a refund, but you must do so within a certain amount of time.
- If you find an error in a return you filed, you may amend it. The IRS may also amend your return, and if you disagree with the assessment, you may object to it within a certain amount of time.
- If the IRS waited too long, made a mistake or violated the law in making a tax assessment, you may request the agency remove the amount from your account.
- If your account accrues interest during a time when the IRS should have done something and through no fault of yours, you may request that the agency remove it.
If you cannot pay your taxes, you may have the opportunity to file for an offer in compromise in which the IRS settles for less than the amount you owe. You may also enter into an installment agreement or receive other relief, depending on the circumstances.
Like other Georgia residents, you have an obligation to pay taxes. However, you are only required to pay the amount you actually owe, and if you disagree with what the IRS says you owe, you do not have to simply pay it without making the agency prove the amount is correct. These matters can quickly become complicated, stressful and frustrating, so it may be in your best interest to consult with a tax attorney in order to help resolve the matter.