Appealing an IRS Decision

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Yikes! You’ve received a notice from the Internal Revenue Service informing you of a decision you disagree with. What should you do?

In most instances, you can settle the dispute with a letter, phone call, or in-person discussion with an IRS agent or supervisor. If those avenues fail to help you reach a resolution, you may be able to request help from the Appeals Office.

What is the Appeals Office? It’s an internal IRS office that is independent from other departments—such as the one that issued your notice. When you opt for Appeals, you go before an appeals officer to have the disagreement resolved.

What can you appeal? Appeals can be requested for numerous reasons, including your belief that the IRS made an incorrect decision due to misinterpreting the law, or the IRS did not properly apply the law due to a misunderstanding of the facts.

What happens after you request an appeal? Once you file your request, the Appeals Office will contact you to set up a conference. Be ready to explain why you disagree with the IRS, and have records, facts and other support to back up your position and substantiate your case.

After the conference, you’ll receive the Appeals decision. You’ll also receive a letter detailing what you can do next if you’re not happy with the decision, such as proceeding to Tax Court.

What other resolution processes are available? Alternative methods of resolving problems include fast track settlements and mediation. You may also want to contact the Taxpayer Advocacy Office.

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