One of the many tools the government has adopted in embracing liberty is the introduction and adoption of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FOIA is applicable in almost all governmental sectors, including the IRS. With the FOIA, you can request to access your IRS records. However, this is not as simple as it appears. Hence, this article will tell you all you need to know about how to file an FOIA request.
What is an FOIA request?
An individual can submit an FOIA request for Any information held by the government, including status complaints filed with the DHS Office, criminal records, tax returns, and Alien Files, among others. Note that you can only submit these requests to federal agencies; state and local governments do not entertain FOIA requests.
Who can file an FOIA request?
The request can be filed by any taxpayer who needs to get their personal IRS files. As stated on the FOIA website, FOIA.gov, “The general rule is that any person-citizen or not – can make an FOIA request.” Hence, the only condition is to request in writing, either by fax, email, or mail, stating the information required. It is also mandatory to attach a proof of identification.
Why file an FOIA request?
Several reasons may necessitate the submission of an FOIA request. In the case of taxpayers, an FOIA request may become necessary if there is a need for examination files or tax return information. With this information, a taxpayer can assess their records without informing the IRS of such assessment.
Where can you file an FOIA request?
According to the 1996 amendment of the FOIA, federal agencies are mandated to provide records online and ensures that the process of obtaining information is fast. In the case of IRS tax information, the taxpayer must submit a written request, either in the form of a standard mail, fax, or email. It is also mandatory to identify the appropriate IRS office holding the information of interest and address the request to the same.
Frequently Asked Questions – IRS Freedom of Information Requests
Below are some of the most common questions asked by taxpayers on the FOIA, alongside comprehensive answers to each:
Who handles and processes the FOIA requests?
The administrative duties of the FOIA lie with the executive branch of government. The DOJ of Information ensures that there is 100% compliance. Each federal agency is expected to process every request addressed to them.
What is the processing of an FOIA request like?
Considering that no single office is responsible for handling FOIA requests, there is no universal process. You will be notified of receipt of your FOIA request, and this notification will contain a tracking number as well as a request for official identification documents.
What is the processing time?
The standard processing time established by the FOIA is about a month. The response time will depend on the peculiarities of the request.
What is the cost of an FOIA request?
The FOI request attracts no standard fee, although small payments may be involved in some cases. The applicant will not pay for the first two hours of a search or first 100 pages of duplication. Payment of fees is only required if the processing is estimated to cost over $25.
Sample FOIA Request Letters
You can assess excellent FOIA request letter samples as compiled by the National Freedom of Information Coalition. You will find these letters grouped by state and type.
Importance of IRS FOIA request letters
The FOIA request letter is not compulsory for everyone. However, it can be an essential tool for people that need one. With an FOIA request letter, you can assess the information you need without making your interest public or suspicious. Always follow the rules and guidelines associated with the submission of these request letters, as stipulated by the parties involved.
Freedom is synonymous with America. Feel free to exercise your right to assess information conveniently and confidentially, as you may require by taking full advantage of the FOIA. Contact us today at 888-548-0478 for more information on Filing A Freedom of Information (FOIA) Request.