Taxes may be inevitable, but paying them should not be an overly confusing or intimidating experience. Understanding how the system works - including how to appeal a Department of Revenue finding - is every taxpayer's right.

This guide is an introduction to the services DOR provides to taxpayers. Our philosophy is simple: Most people want to pay what they owe on time and in full, and an important part of our job is to explain taxpayers' responsibilities as clearly as possible.

This guide is also an introduction to how the system works if you have a problem with your taxes, or if you disagree with how much DOR says you owe in taxes. Our goal is to take the mystery out of tax administration: Well-informed taxpayers can get faster results by knowing their options and exercising them quickly.

Taxpayers also may need to know what will happen if they do not pay any undisputed taxes that they owe. State law provides for an escalating series of sanctions - from interest and penalty charges to court actions - designed to ensure that everyone pays his or her fair share of taxes. These enforcement tools, carefully used, encourage voluntary compliance while assuring honest taxpayers that they are not shouldering an unfair burden.

As an introduction, this guide may not be able to provide you with all the detailed information that you need to answer a particular question or solve a specific problem. We urge you to contact the Department directly - using this guide as a handy reference tool - if you have any further questions or comments.