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IRS Appeals #1: Is Appeals the Place for You?

September 13th

IRS Appeals exists to offer businesses and individuals the opportunity to resolve tax debt disputes without litigation. It aims to be fair to both taxpayer and government interests.

Do You Qualify?

Appeals resolves approximately 100,000 disputes per year. Businesses may come to Appeals if they have received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service stating that they have the right to have their case heard by Appeals. Taxpayers may also come to Appeals if they disagree with the conclusion reached by the IRS and refuse to sign the proffered agreement. Both of these qualifications must be met in order to have a case heard.

However, Appeals is not available to those whose only concern is affording the back taxes owed, or if the only correspondence received from the IRS was a bill, with no mention of appearing before Appeals.

Are You Prepared for an Appeals Conference or Hearing?

Before scheduling an Appeals Conference or Hearing, ensure that you are ready to appear. First, interested taxpayers must consider whether or not they believe the IRS made an error. If so, review your documents to determine if the error made was due to misinterpretation of materials or for some other reason.

Also, if you conclude that the IRS made an error due to misinterpretation of materials, you must have evidence to support your conclusion. Look carefully through your own documentation and through IRS official materials in order to construct an argument.

In these cases, it can be very difficult to come to such conclusions alone. Appeals is a complex process and a significant amount of very specific evidence is required in order to make a successful case. It can therefore most often be helpful to have the guidance of a qualified tax attorney. A tax lawyer can guide you through this process, ensure that you have all the right materials, and give you the confidence you need to be successful in your Hearing.



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