Appealing your IRS Audit results is an excellent idea if you disagree with the IRS Revenue Agent or Tax Compliance Officer’s findings. Just because the IRS Agent believes you owe an additional amount of money for a particular tax year, doesn’t mean it’s cast in stone. You have the right to appeal the IRS Agent’s tax audit findings. The IRS Appeals Office is the forum for appealing the results of your IRS tax audit. Generally, at the conclusion of an IRS audit, you will receive a notice of proposed examination changes with a cover letter requesting you sign the document and return it to the IRS if you are in agreement with the proposed changes. Alternatively, if you are in disagreement with the proposed changes you will be giving information about appealing the IRS Agent’s tax audit findings. The IRS Office of Appeals is a separate, independent and impartial forum for settling tax disputes between the taxpayer and the IRS. The Office of Appeals operates very similar to a court, the taxpayer submits his or her case and the IRS submits their case. Instead of a Judge hearing the case an Appeals Officer will be hearing the case. The major difference is the informal nature of an Appeals Hearing. The hearing itself, will be at a local IRS Appeals Office held in a conference room or maybe held in the Appeal Officer’s office. The only people that will be present at the Appeals Hearing will be you the taxpayer and the Appeals Officer. The IRS will not be there to present their case. The IRS’s case has already been submitted to the Appeals Officer and reviewed. This is your opportunity to discuss with the Appeals Officer one on one as to why you disagree with the IRS Agent, present your facts and discuss a potential settlement of the proposed examination changes in a relaxed atmosphere. The mission of the IRS Office of Appeals is to settle disputes without a trial. A good presentation before an Appeals Officer is key in reducing proposed examination changes. In order appeal the findings of an IRS Agent at an Appeals Hearing, you must file a protest within 30 days of date of the letter from the Revenue Agent or Tax Compliance Officer that contained the proposed examination changes.
How to Prepare a Protest for an IRS Appeal
Your protest must reached the IRS within 30 days from the date of the letter from the IRS Agent. Whereas, your protest is time sensitive I highly recommend mailing it certified receipt requested mail to the IRS Agent. Your Protest must include the following information:
- Your name and address, and a daytime telephone number,
- A statement that you want to appeal the IRS findings to the Appeals Office,
- A copy of the letter showing the proposed changes and findings you don’t agree with (or the date and symbols from the letter),
- The tax periods or years involved,
- A list of the changes that you don’t agree with, and why you don’t agree,
- The facts supporting your position on any issue that you don’t agree with,
- The law or authority, if any, on which you are relying.
- You must sign the written protest, stating that it is true, under the penalties of perjury as follows: “Under the penalties of perjury, I declare that I examined the facts stated in this protest, including any accompanying documents, and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct and complete”.
It is a good idea to provide as much information as possible when preparing your Protest, but keep in mind the objective of the Protest is to get you to an Appeals Hearing. You do not have to present your entire case on this document. The reality is that once you file your Protest, you will receive an introduction letter from the Office of Appeals maybe 30-45 days later. Then a subsequent letter from the Appeals Officer assigned to you case maybe 30-60 days after that requesting you contact the Appeals Officer to set an Appeals Hearing date. Once you make contact with the Appeals Officer he or she may not be able to see you for 30 days or more. Therefore, you have time to develop your case before the actual Appeals Hearing, so there is no need to stress out about not being able to have your case fully developed by the protest deadline. Click on the link to obtain IRS Publication 5-Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest If you Don’t Agree http://irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5.pdf