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Taxpayers must pay no more than the correct amount of tax

A taxpayer may owe money when they complete and file their tax return. They have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly. This is one of ten rights known collectively as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

This right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax means taxpayers can:

  • File for a refund if they believe they overpaid.

  • Write or call the IRS office that sent the taxpayer a notice or bill. Taxpayers can do this if they believe the notice or bill is incorrect in any way. When challenging information in a bill or notice, taxpayers should be ready to provide copies of any records that may help correct the error. If the taxpayer is correct, the agency will make the necessary adjustment to their account and send a corrected notice.

  • Amend a tax return if they discover an error. They can also amend this return if there were mistakes in their filing status, income, deductions or credits.

  • Request any amount owed be removed if it’s more than the correct amount due.

  • Request the IRS remove any interest from their account if the IRS caused unreasonable errors or delays.

  • Submit an offer in compromise, asking the agency to accept less than the full tax debt, if the taxpayer believes they don’t owe all or part of the debt.

More information: Taxpayer Advocate Service What if I can’t pay my taxes

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