Experiencing an IRS audit is bad enough. But what if the outcome is so one-sided that you just can’t accept it without putting up a fight? That’s where an appeal comes in. The IRS has an appeals branch that gives taxpayers an opportunity to dispute an IRS ruling before tax court becomes necessary. You need to consider IRS appeals.
The IRS Office of Appeals serves as an impartial arbitrator of tax disputes, where taxpayers can raise objections to an IRS decision regarding tax adjustments, penalties, or IRS levies. Its officials are staffed with former auditors with years of experience. They can give fresh eyes to your case that can hopefully see things your way.
If the IRS’s decision touches on a new issue unfamiliar to the IRS, then an appeal may be a smart decision. After all, it’s an extra opportunity to express your argument. It’s also an option for when the IRS gets the facts of your case wrong, if you believe the IRS misapplied the law to your situation, or if you believe the IRS is waging inappropriate collection action.
You can file a written protest detailing your case, or you could have a tax attorney do it for you. For written protests, Partnerships or S Corporations work best.
If your case involves an amount less than $25,000, you’ll likely file a Small Case Request.
There will also be a taxpayer conference, where your case is considered by an IRS appeals officer. The IRS conducts these conferences via telephone, in-person, or via written correspondence. They’re informal, so the pressure won’t be too much to handle.
Winning an IRS appeal can be a game-changer for your tax situation. You may not win, but the process normally takes about 90 days. You can represent yourself in an IRS appeal. However, it’s better to hire a tax attorney or tax professional who can increase your chances of victory.
Also, waging an IRS appeal delays your tax bill’s due date, sometimes giving you a few additional months. That’s extra precious time to gather extra funds to pay your back taxes or to get an installment plan in the works.
One downside to filing an IRS appeal is that if unreported information is discovered by the appeals officer, then that could factor into an unfavorable decision. Regardless, resolving your tax burden with an appeal is an option for American tax payers.
Have you ever experienced an appeal? Share your story below, or tweet us @StopIRSDebt!
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