Perhaps two of the scariest words in the English language. There may be instances when you do not agree with the IRS’s collection amount determination, but you do have a means of recourse. Filing an IRS appeal can seem like a daunting task, but with some preparation, you will be able to state your case as to why you are making an IRS appeal. Most disagreements can be settled outside of court.
IRS Collection Actions Appeals
There are several reasons that you might want to initiate an IRS appeal. They fall into two main categories: Collection Due Process (CDP) and Collection Appeals Program (CAP). A CDP appeal can be enacted under the following circumstances:
- Final Notice
- Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing
- Notice of Jeopardy Levy and Right of Appeal
- Notice of Levy on State Tax Refund
- Post Levy CDP Notice
A CAP appeal occurs for the following reasons:
- Before or after the IRS files a Federal Tax Lien Notice
- Before or after the IRS levies your property
- Rejection of an installation agreement
- Modification of an installed agreement
When filing an IRS appeal, keep in mind that CAP is available for a larger variety of collection actions. It usually has a quicker appeals decision as well. On the downside, if you disagree with the CAP decision, you are unable to contest it in court.
First Steps of Filing an IRS Appeal
A “30-day letter”, which details how to make an appeal, will be sent along with the auditor’s ruling. The IRS appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date on the letter, and must include your contact information, a statement of why you are appealing, a copy of the letter you received from the IRS, the facts of why you disagree with the IRS determination, and the penalties of perjury statement which states: “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.”
Representation in an IRS Appeal
If you are filing an IRS appeal, you should decide how you will be represented in your case. You are allowed to represent yourself in these cases, or you may choose to enlist the help of an attorney, accountant, or another person who is knowledgeable about the IRS. It is not advisable to represent yourself, however, because appeals can become complicated. Plus, it is difficult to present an unbiased viewpoint without emotion when you self-represent. There are many IRS help services available to assist in the process.
Preparing for an IRS Appeal
As part of the preparation process, you should submit a Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) letter to the officer at the IRS office requesting the auditor’s file. You should receive the file within a month. In the meantime, gather bank statements, checks, and other relevant documents that will help support your case. While appeal hearings are usually informal, you still want to be well-prepared. IRS appeals officers would rather avoid a loss in court, so you may end up with a settlement. The IRS states that you might also be asked to provide additional information, which you should provide in a timely manner.
Filing an IRS appeal can be a challenging undertaking. IRS Solver is accredited to represent you in your IRS appeal, which can give you the best chance of attaining a positive outcome in your case.