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Why is filing an appeal a good option?

Appeals is often the best place to have a case get settled. The Appeals Office is tasked with weighing the hazards of litigation and is more likely to come to an agreement if one could not be previously reached. Whether you are dealing with the collections or examinations division,  you will have an option to go to appeals.  However, depending on the type of issue you are contesting, the type of appeal that is filed will vary.

If you received a Final Notice of Intent to Levy, you have 30 days to file a Collection Due Process Hearing (CDP).  This is a formal appeals request, which will stop collection action and suspend the statute.  You have a limited time to file a petition to the U.S. Tax Court if you disagree with the decision from the CDP hearing.   If you have an issue involving the potential filing of a federal tax lien, you should tell the Revenue Officer or IRS Representative that you would like to speak with a supervisor contesting the possible filing of the lien.  Once the supervisor makes the decision that the lien should be filed, you have a very limited amount of time to file a Collection Appeals Hearing (CAP).

If you are in an exam, and would like to contest the determination of the examiner, you will have to file an appeal once you receive the final notice of proposed adjustments from the examiner.  You must make sure you adhere to the deadline within the examiner’s letter.  If you do not agree with the final determination issued by Appeals, then you have the option of filing a petition to the U.S. Tax Court.

U.S. Tax Court

A taxpayer typically has 90 days to file a petition to Tax Court from the time he/she receives a notice of deficiency. However, this may vary if a taxpayer’s appealing a CDP hearing.  In the US Tax Court, the taxpayer does not pay the full tax deficiency until the dispute is settled.  (However, interest and penalties accumulate during this time.)

 

If a taxpayer did not have an option of filing an appeal or missed the appeal’s process, the Tax Court will send the case back to an Appeals Officer before it gets reviewed by IRS Counsel.  If a settlement cannot be reached and is not approved by the IRS Counsel, then the case will continue to trial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth it to take my case to appeals to contest an audit or collection alternative?

Yes.  Appeals is the best place to obtain a settlement with the IRS.  Appeals will weigh the hazards of litigation and is most likely to settle or agree with you if you have merit.

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