Does the IRS have the final say once an audit is triggered? You may be surprised to learn that a taxpayer actually has real options and resources to consider when facing an audit. The IRS Independent Office of Appeals exists to resolve disputes regarding audits without the need for litigation. However, going through the IRS audit and appeals process is not something you’ll want to do on your own.
A Closer Look at IRS Appeals
When should you exercise your right to an IRS audit appeal? The way the process works is that an IRS agent makes adjustment recommendations for a tax return once an audit is completed. Unfortunately, recommendations almost always cause taxpayers to owe more in taxes and penalties.
If you disagree with the recommendation the IRS has made, you may be able to appeal it. The good news is that most disputed IRS audits are settled without the need for legal escalation. One thing that many taxpayers don’t realize is that the IRS would actually prefer to avoid litigation due to lost time, heavy expenses, and the risk of unfavorable results. However, that doesn’t mean that your appeal is guaranteed to be successful.
Making a successful appeal often comes down to the way you handle the process. Keep in mind that the IRS handles countless appeals each year. You’re going to need someone on your side who is highly experienced in regards to the IRS audit and appeals process.
An audit appeal can include many layers. You may find that it’s in your best interest to pivot to a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing. In addition, you may want to explore applying for an Offer in Compromise (OIC) or Installment Agreement to pay what is owed.
How to Appeal IRS Audit Findings
You may have received a detailed examination report from the IRS that breaks down all of the interest, penalties, and changes the IRS would like to add to your return. It is very important that you do not sign this document if you intend to appeal the IRS’s recommendation. However, you don’t want to simply ignore the letter! You will be required to file a formal protest of the findings within 30 days of the date on the letter. Seeking professional support for properly managing your IRS audit appeal will be critical at this point. The Tax Group Center may be able to help you if you’re coming up against the end of that 30-day window without any plan, as it may be possible for you to request a 30-day or 60-day extension.
The specific options available to you in the appeal process will depend on the amount of money you owe to the IRS. You may be able to simply ask your auditor for an appeal if you owe below a certain amount, but special forms and procedures will be necessary if you owe tens of thousands of dollars. It is possible to have penalties that were assigned to you by an auditor waived if you can prove that your intentions were not fraudulent.
What is the process of an IRS Collection Appeal? There are a number of ways to halt IRS collections activities, including negotiating with the collections manager that is handling the case or seeking collection due process or collection appeal process hearing. Both the collection due process and the collection appeal process hearings involve expedited conferences with the IRS Collection Appeals Office to review decisions on liens, levies, seizures, and rejection or termination of installment agreements.
The key difference between these two programs is that the IRS collection appeals program does not allow further appeal to a court from denial of the appeal; whereas, collection due process does. An experienced professional can help you determine if you qualify for these programs.
Contact the Tax Group Center
The average taxpayer is really out of their league when trying to work out an appeal alone. One thing that we’ve learned here at the Tax Group Center during our 30 years of providing tax relief solutions is that strong negotiating power goes a long way. You need someone who speaks the language of the IRS if you want to fully and properly exercise your right to challenge the proposed adjustment of your tax return. The tax attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, and tax experts at the Tax Group Center will work hard to get all or some of the judgments from your audit reversed. Call us today to start working on getting your audit appeal settled!