Tips For Appealing an IRS Decision

IRS documentsIf you disagree with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you have the right to appeal their decision.


A disagreement with the IRS may arise on a tax return or after an audit. If you receive an adjustment notice from the IRS, carefully review the underlying documents and facts. 


Appeals to the IRS go through the IRS Independent Office of Appeals. While you may feel discouraged about your chances, an appeal is important if you have supporting documents that explain your case. The Office of Appeals is an independent entity within the IRS. The agency offers taxpayers an understandable forum for tax grievances. With approximately 1,240 employees, most of whom are Appeals and Settlements Officers, the overall aim of the office is to “resolve tax disputes without litigation, where possible, consider each case fairly and impartially and improve public confidence in the integrity and efficiency of the IRS.”


Better yet, on average, stats show appellants may see their IRS assessment cut by 40 percent on appeal and approximately 80 percent of cases going through the agency result in a settlement satisfying to both parties. The process is easy, does not cost anything, and could help you out financially. Consider these tips if you are thinking of an appeal:

  • ·You can represent yourself or you can choose representation by a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other representative enrolled with the IRS.
  • To prepare to appeal, follow the process in your notice letter. This involves writing a statement detailing where you believe the IRS erred. Be sure you include thorough documentation and detail, as this is critical to the outcome of your appeal. Send your appeal to the officer or agent who is handling your case. There are time limits, so be sure to appeal within your window of opportunity to appeal. The officer or agent will send your appeal to the Independent Office of Appeals.
  • The Appeals agent will review your appeal and the file created by the IRS. The officer will arrange a conference with you or may correspond with you about the appeal. The officer will review IRS regulations and case law that relate to your appeal when needed. The appeal process may take approximately seven or eight months. Ultimately, the officer will come to a decision or suggest a settlement. If you are unhappy with the decision, you can still challenge the IRS finding in Federal Court or the Tax Court.


Pursuing an appeal may reduce your tax liability—or it may not. Talk with a tax attorney who has experience with the IRS to learn whether your appeal is as solid as it seems and what your best options might be. And be sure to talk with a tax lawyer for advice if large sums are involved or if the appeal involves an IRS audit or investigation.


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Representing local, national, and international clients, the tax attorneys at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC provide strong representation on matters of criminal tax defense, FBAR issues, and tax litigation. Call 800-579-0997 or contact us today.


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