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Information on the Taxpayer Rights Advocate

The Taxpayer Rights Advocate will ensure prompt review and resolution of problems and complaints that have not been successfully resolved through normal administrative procedures. The Taxpayer Rights Advocate will also ensure that your rights are protected in audit and collections procedures.

Your Rights

General

The Virginia Department of Taxation's mission is to serve our customers by delivering an efficient, courteous, confidential and equitable tax revenue system. Our goal is to ensure that your rights are protected in all state tax assessment, audit, and collection procedures, so that you may have the highest confidence in the integrity of our tax system. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect by our employees. You also have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and accurate responses to tax questions and requests for assistance and information. When you make a written request for tax information, you have the right to rely on our written advice.

In Contacting the Department of Taxation

During any contact you have with the Department, you have the right to have anyone you wish present with you. You may also be represented or advised by an attorney or accountant. If you desire to have another person, including an attorney or accountant, represent you when you are not present, you must sign a power of attorney form authorizing that person to act on your behalf. You also have the right to make an audio recording of any meeting held in connection with tax determination and collection actions, using your own equipment. You may suspend certain meetings to seek advice from your representative. Finally, you have the right to ask the Department’s Taxpayer Rights Advocate for assistance with problems or complaints that have not been resolved through normal administrative channels. Information on the Taxpayer Rights Advocate is discussed later in this publication.

Confidentiality

We keep all information about your tax liability in our records strictly confidential, including tax returns, correspondence, audit reports, and other account information. Virginia law allows only limited release of tax information, and prohibits the Department of Taxation from releasing information to any individual or organization that does not have the legal right to receive it.

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Contacting the Taxpayer Rights Advocate

When contacting the Taxpayer Rights Advocate, you will need to provide a detailed description of the problem or complaint and the steps you have taken to resolve the issue. Please include a daytime phone number in your request.

          Taxpayer Rights Advocate
          Virginia Department of Taxation
          P.O. Box 546
          Richmond, Virginia 23218-0546
          Phone: (804) 367-8031 for Individuals
          Phone: (804) 367-8037 for Businesses
          FAX: (804) 786-1894

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Offers in Compromise

An offer in compromise is a proposal to settle your tax bill for less than the full amount. The offer will be considered based on available information. If you have been assessed penalty, the penalty can be reduced or waived entirely for good cause. Tax and interest may not be reduced or waived by the Tax Commissioner unless you can show that the liability is doubtful or that it is doubtful that the bill can be collected.

To request an offer in compromise, write to the Tax Commissioner describing the type of tax involved, taxable period, date and amount of the bill, and include a detailed explanation, along with supporting documentation, of the reasons why the tax, penalty or interest should be reduced or waived. If your offer is made because you cannot pay the bill, you must include a signed Financial Information Statement.

If the Tax Commissioner accepts your offer, any amounts waived will be removed from the bill. If your offer is not accepted, the balance of the bill must be paid. You may fax your individual offer in compromise or business offer in compromise with supporting documentation to the Tax Commissioner at (804) 786-3536, or mail it to:

Tax Commissioner
Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 2475
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2475.

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Last Updated 7/18/2012 10:51

 

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