If you disagree with the IRS’ decision on the amount of taxes you owe, there is a recourse to help resolve the dispute without taking it to the Tax Court. You can file an appeal with the Office of Appeals.
The Office of Appeals is an independent organization that helps in dealing with tax issues, especially in cases where the IRS made an error. Although you can take the DIY route and file an appeal yourself, it is advisable to seek the help of an IRS tax attorney and use their expertise to address the issue at hand. An IRS tax appeal helps you request an additional investigation into your taxes, which may lead to a reduced tax bill if the investigator finds any error or anomaly. This blog will answer common questions people ask about IRS Appeals.
When Can You File an IRS Tax Appeal?
You can file an appeal if you receive a letter from the IRS explaining your right to appeal against its decision. You are, however, not eligible to file a tax appeal if the letter you receive from the IRS is a bill and there is no mention of appeals, or if you failed to provide complete information to the examiner during the audit. When filing an appeal, the reason for disagreement should be within the scope of stipulated tax laws.
You qualify to file an IRS tax appeal if all the below conditions are satisfied:
- The IRS made a decision that you do not agree with and have proof to back your claim
- The IRS sends you a letter wherein your rights to file an IRS tax appeal in mentioned and explained
- You are not willing to sign any agreement form sent by the IRS
- You disagree with the IRS’s decision because it is incorrect, not because you can not pay the amount.
What are the Different Types of Appeals?
There are three types of IRS appeals:
- Collection Appeal Request
- Request for a Collection Due Process (or equivalent hearing)
- Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order
A taxpayer can make a Collection Appeal Request before the IRS files a lien or a levy. They can even file if they already sent a levy to the bank account before issuing a final Notice of Intent to levy or to your employer to garnish your wages while there is already a pending installment agreement in place.
The Request for a Collection Due Process or equivalent hearing, on the other hand, can be used to resolve nearly every tax dispute.
Lastly, if a tax dispute is taking a long time to resolve, The Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order helps the taxpayer receive additional help from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Must Read: Need Help with IRS Tax Appeals? Here is All You Need to Know
What Can I Expect from an IRS Tax Appeal Process?
If you have the documents needed to back your claim, an IRS tax appeal process is the ideal way to resolve tax issues. In a tax appeal, an employee of the Office of Appeals goes through your taxes and analyzes whether the IRS made an error. After analyzing the records, the person may set up an informal conference call with you to come to an agreement.
How To Appeal An IRS Decision Letter?
You can file an appeal in two ways: A Small Case Request or a Formal Written Request. All taxpayers are required to write a formal written request to file an IRS tax appeal to the Office of Appeals, unless they qualify for filing a small case request. If the owed tax amount, with penalty and interest, is $25,000 or less, you qualify to file for an appeal through a small case request. Use the IRS Appeal Form 12203, Request for Appeal Review, to file a small case request. The other method, a formal written request, is the most common way to appeal to the Office of Appeals. Make sure to file a request using the appropriate method within the time frame mentioned in the IRS letter, which is usually 30 days. If you have any questions such as ‘Where can I get an IRS appeals letter sample?’, ‘How to appeal an IRS decision letter,’ ‘What is the IRS appeals mailing address and phone number?, or any other questions related to IRS appeal settlement guidelines, consult an IRS tax attorney. They will help you with filling out the correct IRS appeal form and sending the application to the correct IRS tax appeals address. Let’s take a look at the process of appealing an IRS decision letter briefly.
(i) File A Protest
To file for an appeal with the IRS Office of Appeals, the first thing you should do is file a protest. This must be done in writing, in the form of a letter. It is important that you mail this letter directly to the IRS and not the IRS Office of Appeals. Sending your protest to the wrong IRS office of appeal address can delay or prevent your request from being approved.
(ii) Small Case Request
Is your entire amount of proposed additional tax and penalties, for each period, under $25,000? If so, you can submit a small case request. All you have to do is follow the instructions in the letter that you receive and use IRS form 12203 to provide the IRS with a written statement.
(iii) Collection Decision Appeals
A collection decision appeal applies when you disagree with a lien, levy, seizure, or denial. It is also applicable when you want to dispute a modification or termination of a previous installment agreement.
Follow specific instructions for each specific situation to request an appeal. A professional IRS tax law expert can best guide you through the IRS tax appeals process.
What Information Do I Add to My Appeal Form?
When filing an appeal, it is important to be thorough and accurate. When filing an appeal, you need to add:
- Your Name, current address, and contact number
- Explain your appeal and write a statement of appeal
- A copy of the letter proposing a tax adjustment
- Facts and documents supporting your appeal
- Information related to a law or authority, if you are relying on one.
What Happens When I Submit My IRS Tax Appeal Form?
- Once received, your IRS tax appeals request letter will be reviewed by the IRS Examination or Collection office. They will assess your case on a personal basis and try to come up with a way to settle the issue.
- Only when your tax dispute can’t be solved at this stage does the IRS tax appeal process continue. If that is the case, your protest letter is forwarded to the IRS Appeals Office to continue with deliberations.
- Once your protest makes its way into the Office of Appeals, you’ll have to represent your case.
While you might choose to represent yourself, this isn’t always the best choice. Especially since you’ll be presenting your case to people working in the IRS that are well-versed in IRS appeal processes and tax law.
When it comes to representation, the best choice is always working with a tax law professional. Tax attorneys know how the IRS works and what needs to be done to present a successful case.
How Long Would the IRS Tax Appeal Process Take?
Appeals usually do not drag on, but the time taken for a process to complete depends on your case, supporting facts and documents, and the manner your case is handled. It is important to make sure you file an appeal and provide all needed documents to support your claim in the time frame mentioned in the IRS letter – usually within 30 days – to resolve the tax issue.
Dealing with an IRS tax dispute can be overwhelming. Your finances can be at stake if the issue is not addressed in the right manner. That is the reason it is important to seek the help of an IRS tax attorney. If you are looking for professional assistance to resolve any IRS tax debt problems, the Law Office of Nick Nemeth can help. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our IRS tax lawyers, simply call (972) 426-2991 or fill out our contact form, and we will take it from there.