A Brief Guide to the IRS Appeals Process

Dealing with the IRS is a headache, especially if you’ve already dealt with a problem and received a less-than-favorable determination about your tax dispute. At this point, it might feel like you’ve run out of options and just have to get on with paying what the IRS has determined that you owe.  But the fight is not yet over. The IRS Office of Appeals is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve their tax disputes through an informal, administrative process. The mission of IRS Appeals is to resolve tax controversies fairly and impartially, without litigation.  Therefore, it’s an important option for you to explore with your tax attorney. The process itself is fairly straightforward, but read ahead to learn a little bit more about IRS appeals.
1.   File with The Office of Appeals
If you have received a decision notice from your auditor and disagree with it, then the next step is to file with the IRS’s Office of Appeals. This Office is an independent organization  within the IRS, so you won’t be dealing with the same folks who ran your previous case. When you receive the decision from the IRS, it will include what’s called a “30-day letter.” This letter will tell you how you can go about making an appeal within, you guessed it, 30 days. The IRS provides for several appeal options depending on the type of tax issue you have, so work with a tax attorney to figure out how to properly get started.
2.   Make sure your reasons are valid
Although there are a lot of reasons to disagree with an IRS decision, it’s essential that the formal reason you are appealing comes within the scope of tax laws. When you appeal, there will be some formalities that you must abide by, and information you’re required to include, such as your proposed changes to the auditor’s decision, the reason you disagree with their decision, and facts to support it, among others. Typically, the IRS will respond to you within 60-90 days to set up a hearing.
3.   Prepare for your hearing
While awaiting a response from the IRS, it’s a good idea to get started on preparing for your hearing. You should have as much supporting documentation as possible to back up your case, as well as solid reasons why you either disagree with the auditor’s determination. You may consider filing a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain all of the files related to your IRS audit.  The appeals hearing is informal and administrative – not at all like a court case. However, you will still have to present your evidence and make your case, so working with a tax lawyer will be in your best interest throughout the entire process.
4.   Settlements
Rather than lose, IRS Appeals may seek to negotiate a settlement with you. Although settling can be better than losing for both sides, it might not always be in your best interest, particularly if you and your lawyer are certain of a mistake made by the IRS. The process might be daunting, but being prepared, knowing your case, and having an experienced tax attorney by your side can help make the process a little less painful.
Speak with a tax attorney today.
Filing an appeal with the IRS can be overwhelming, so it’s important that you do it right from the start. At Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL we regularly help our clients with all kinds of tax law issues. If you have questions about your IRS appeal, we want to help. Contact us at (305) 374-5544 today!

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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