IRS Appeals

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The IRS Appeals Division was formed in 1998 to offer taxpayers a fair and neutral place to resolve tax disputes. It handles more than 100,000 cases each year, which may involve innocent spouse claims, audit decisions, collection actions (liens, levies, seizures), penalty disputes, installment agreements, offers in compromise, and other similar matters.

Our IRS appeals lawyer in Washington DC can help you if you need to challenge an IRS decision. At Tax Relief Counsel, we can represent you in federal tax appeals and seek relief from the IRS Appeals Division on your behalf. Additionally, we have experience in assisting clients with contesting IRS levies through Collection Due Process (CDP) and the Collection Appeals Program (CAP). If you’re in the middle of a tax controversy, contact our office today for a free virtual consultation and to learn more about how we can help.

IRS Appeals

Challenging an Audit in the IRS Appeals Division

When you file an appeal, you are asking the IRS to review and reconsider their decision. This lets them know that you disagree with their decision, and it puts a hold on any attempts collect the tax debt you are disputing.

Filing an appeal is often done to dispute an IRS audit that has caused an increase in tax liability. This increase can also include additional penalties and interest, which may significantly increase the total tax liability. It is important to note that the IRS Appeals Division is responsible for resolving various disputes between taxpayers and the IRS, and not just those related to audits.

You generally have 30 days from the receipt of an IRS audit determination to request an appeal. If you fail to do so correctly and on time, you may still have the opportunity to bring your case before the IRS Appeals Division. However, this would require you to wait for the Notice of Deficiency and file a timely petition with the tax court.

If you want to file an appeal, it’s important to talk to an IRS appeals attorney as soon as possible. This will give you the chance to share your side of the story with an Appeals Officer. Keep in mind that you may not have had this chance yet.

There are several benefits of filing an appeal. One of them is that the IRS Appeals Division works independently, which means that taxpayers often receive better outcomes. Appeals Officers are not evaluated based on the amount of tax they collect. This means that their focus is on resolving cases quickly and fairly, rather than maximizing revenue.

It is important to note that transferring a case to the Appeals Division can take several months. However, this waiting period can be utilized to collect more documents, save money to settle the liability, and plan a strategy for the appeals conference. After the appeal process begins, the Appeals Officer is authorized to resolve the case.

Contesting an IRS Levy

If someone owes taxes and doesn’t pay them within 30 days of getting a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing, the IRS can take their assets. But there are ways for taxpayers to argue against this, like using the Collection Due Process (CDP) or the Collection Appeals Program (CAP).

Collection Due Process (CDP)

Taxpayers who receive levy notices can access the CDP. As per Section 6330 of the Internal Revenue Code, taxpayers typically have the right to a hearing before any levy is enforced. However, some tax debtors may receive a levy notice only after their assets have been seized or transferred, in which case they are not entitled to a pre-deprivation hearing:

  • When a collection of the tax is in jeopardy
  • When the IRS levies upon a state tax refund
  • When the criteria for a Disqualified Employment Tax Levy are met
  • When the IRS serves a federal contractor levy

If someone who owes taxes doesn’t ask for a CDP (collection due process) in time, they can still request a CDP Equivalent hearing that is similar up to one year after getting a notice of levy.

Collection Appeals Program (CAP)

The CAP and CDP differ in terms of what they offer. Unlike the CDP, the CAP doesn’t allow taxpayers to challenge the amount or existence of their federal tax debt. Additionally, it doesn’t provide access to judicial remedies for taxpayers who disagree with the outcome on appeal. The CAP is generally used for disputing asset the seizure or for contesting the modified, rejected, or terminated installment agreement, or a wrongful levy.

Regarding installment agreements, the IRS is not allowed to take any action to seize assets until 30 days after rejecting or discontinuing the agreement. Therefore, if you file an appeal within 30 days, the IRS will not take any further action until the appeal process is completed. However, unlike the CDP process, any decision made through CAP is final and binding for both the IRS and the taxpayer. It can only be appealed in federal court under very specific circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Tax Appeal?

Tax appeals are a way to resolve a disagreement between the taxpayer and the IRS through mediation by the appeals office. Usually, this is done when the IRS makes adjustments to your tax return that you don’t agree with. Instead of accepting the adjustments and potentially paying more taxes, you have the option to disagree with the adjustments and create a formal written protest to submit to the IRS appeals office.

What Changes to My Taxes Can Be Appealed?

In general, if the IRS makes any changes to your tax bill such as disallowing deductions or credits, adding penalties and interest, or announcing tax liens, levies, or seizures, you have the right to appeal. You can even appeal installment payment agreements and Offers in Compromise.

You can appeal any IRS notice that informs you about changes to your taxes and outlines your appeal rights. However, in order to win the appeal, you must provide a valid argument with supporting evidence to prove that the decisions made by the IRS are incorrect.

How Do I Request a Tax Appeal?

In order to appeal your taxes, you need to write a formal letter expressing your disagreement with the decisions made and provide evidence to support your claims. After that, send the letter to the address listed in the letter that explains your rights to appeal.

If your tax case is not resolved by the IRS and your explanation is reasonable, it will be sent to the appeals office for further review. To request a tax appeal, you can either represent yourself or hire our IRS appeals lawyer in Washington DC. If you opt for the latter and want only your attorney to handle the matter, you need to complete Form 2848.

How Do I File a Formal Written Protest for My Tax Appeal?

To appeal your taxes, you usually need to submit a written protest. The protest must include the following information:

  • Your contact information (Name, Address, Phone Number)
  • Drafted letter to the Office of Appeals indicating your wish to appeal the decisions made by the IRS 
  • Copy of the letter you received from the IRS stating the changes
  • Tax period in which the changes are involved
  • A list of all the changes with which you disagree and the reasons you disagree with each change
  • Facts that support your disagreements with the changes
  • The penalties of perjury statement, “Under the penalties of perjury, I declare that the facts stated in this protest and any accompanying documents are true, correct, and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief”, signed by the individual requesting for the appeal

You need to send the letter of protest within the time limit mentioned in the letter that explains your appeals rights. This time limit is usually 30 days from the date of the letter.

In FY 2022, taxpayers proposed 36,022 offers in compromise to settle existing tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. IRS accepted 13,165 offers, amounting to more than $234.3 million

Contact Our Tax Appeals Lawyer in Washington, D.C. Today

To learn more about how an experienced IRS appeals attorney can assist you with your IRS issue contact Tax Relief Counsel. We pride ourselves on our availability and flexibility, so no matter where you are, we’re willing and able to assist you. We offer free virtual consultations to better understand your situation as quickly and effectively as possible. If you’re facing tax issues with the IRS, contact our experienced tax appeals lawyer in Washington, DC now to learn more about the next steps and how we can help.