What is an Appeal?
An Appeal is a request to reconsider an IRS decision. The action of filing an appeal puts the IRS on notice that you do not agree with their decision and stops them from collecting from you. An appeal will stay the collections process. The goal of the IRS Appeals Division is to settle disputes between the IRS and taxpayers. The most common IRS decision which is appealed is that of an IRS Audit where the IRS has increased your tax liability. Often this increase includes additional penalties and interest, which can add thousands to your overall tax liability.
Going to appeals has several advantages. First, because of the independence of appeals, taxpayers often obtain more favorable results. Appeals Officers are measured by how quickly they resolve disputes rather than the amount of tax they collect. They have an incentive to resolve cases quickly, rather than collect the most money possible, and are often more open to compromise. The mind set of an Appeals Officer, rather than that of a Revenue Officer or Revenue Agent, usually makes a big difference in working to resolve the process quickly. Furthermore, it usually takes a month or two for the case to be transferred to the Appeals Division. This time period can be used as a tactic to stall collections, save more money to settle your liability, or strategize before your appeals conference. Once in appeals, your Appeals Officer has the authority to settle cases on the spot.
The IRS has an appeals system for people who do not agree with the results of an IRS examination of their tax returns or with other tax adjustments made by the IRS to their tax liability. Some appeals are based locally in San Diego, others are based in different locations around the country. If you are involved in a tax audit with the IRS, make sure you know and understand all your rights to an appeal from an IRS decision. There are also important deadlines in the process that you need to be aware of or it may affect your rights.
After you get the tax auditor’s results and you’re not satisfied with them, you can appeal to the IRS Appeals Office. You will get a thirty (30) day letter from the IRS auditor which will inform you that you have thirty days to exercise your appeal rights. It is likely that it will be nine months to one year before your IRS appeals audit is heard. If possible, try to settle the tax case before or at this appeal by having a skilled representative deal with the process on your behalf.
You must file an Appeals request within a certain time frame and follow the IRS guidelines for an Appeal request to be valid. Otherwise, you may have to challenge the matter in court.
If you do not file your Appeal request correctly and on time, you may lose the opportunity to have an Appeals officer listen to your side of the story.
Do not take chances…..hire a tax attorney who will vigorously and objectively defend your rights. If you have any questions or if we can further assist you, please contact our San Diego office.
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