Those who face serious tax disputes can benefit from the use of administrative options. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers various administrative options, including the ability to file an appeal with the Office of Appeals. This option is available for almost any type of IRS action including collection efforts and proposed tax assessments.
Why would I consider using the appeals process instead of traditional litigation for tax matters?
One of the key benefits to this process is its flexibility. An appeal through the Office of Appeals generally results in presentation of your side of the case without the need to adhere to formal rules while still preserving the right to judicial review. The rules of evidence, which are often complex and nuanced, do not apply to this process.
Additional benefits include the fact the process is generally more efficient than traditional litigation and thus less costly.
What matters qualify for use of the Office of Appeals?
You can request an Appeals conference or hearing if you meet the following:
- The IRS sent you a letter that explains your right to appeal the agency’s decision;
- You intend to dispute the decision; and
- You do not intend to sign the agreement form.
It is helpful to determine where the error occurred. If the error was one of a misinterpretation of law, review related publications to defend your stance. If the IRS misunderstood the facts as presented or used incorrect facts to defend their decision, prepare clarification and supporting documents.
How do I move forward with an appeal?
You request the appeal by filing a written protest to the address on the letter from the IRS. It is important to review the information from the IRS carefully as there are deadlines to move forward with an appeal. An attorney can review this information to make sure you do not miss the deadline while also helping build your presentation for the conference or hearing to increase the likelihood of success.