Written By Attorney Joshua MacNamara

Your Rights as a Taxpayer-North Carolina Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights

Individuals and businesses often find themselves dealing with unexpected tax situations, asking the question… 

“What are my rights as a taxpayer?”

In North Carolina, you are protected by a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, and which include:

Right to Protection of Privacy: Tax information, financial condition, and any departmental assessments must be kept confidential by NCDOR. 

Fairness and Explanation in the Examination of Your Return: In all instances, any examination must be made fairly and a detailed explanation of any findings and changes made as a result of the examination must be provided to you. When the examination is complete, you have a right to request a waiver of penalties, refund of overpaid taxes, or a right to request another review if you disagree with the assessment.


North Carolina Taxpayers' Bill of Rights

North Carolina Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights


Right to Request and Receive a Waiver of Penalties and Interest: In North Carolina, you have a right to request and have penalties waived subject to some compliance and/or circumstantial requirements. Generally, NCDOR is not permitted under state law to waive interest that accrues on unpaid taxes. However, an exception exists relating to certain bankruptcy assessments.

Right to Refund of Overpaid Taxes: Provided a timely request is made by filing a claim for refund or an amended return within the statute of limitations period, you are entitled to a refund of any overpayments. Generally, the time period to request a refund is within three (3) years of the due date of the return, or two (2) years after you have paid the tax. 

Right to Request Review by NCDOR if you Disagree: If you disagree with a proposed notice of tax assessment or proposed denial of refund, you may make a formal request for a Departmental review within 45 days of the date of the notice.

Final Determination after Departmental Review: Should there be no resolution in connection with the Departmental Review, you will be allowed to contest a Notice of Final Determination (“NOFD”) and the basis for it. To contest a NOFD, you may file a petition for a “Contested Tax Case Hearing” with the Office of Administrative Hearings (”OAH”).

Right to Review of Jeopardy Assessments and Seizures: A jeopardy assessment is made by the Department when there is a justifiable basis that a risk exists limiting the ability of the Department to collect on its assessment. This allows the Department to immediately seize property without the normal notice procedures.

When a jeopardy assessment occurs, the Department may immediately seize property without a waiting period, but not without an explanation of the justification in a timely manner. 

Five (5) Day Rule

In most cases, within five (5) days, the Secretary is required to provide a detailed written statement of the facts forming the basis for the seizure. As a taxpayer, you have the right to request a review of the action within thirty (30) days of the written statement of facts and the Department has a tight timeline to perform a review in response to your demand. Should the review not be favorable, you may then, within a specified time limit (90 days), seek judicial review and the court will then have 20 days to consider and make a determination in connection with your appeal.

Attorney Joshua MacNamara can help you understand your obligations, mitigate legal exposures, and resolve tax issues. We navigate complex levels of legal procedure helping to create pathways forward.…allowing you to focus on your day-to-day family, and growing your business.