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Your Appeal Rights at the IRS


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If you have received a result from an IRS examination that requires an adjustment to your tax liability and you don’t agree with the result, you have certain rights to appeal – your opportunity to state your case and perhaps get an overturn of the result of your examination. (It’s always possible!)

Facts About Your Appeal Rights

The IRS has put together a list of seven facts that they want you to be aware of with regard to your appeal rights (for more information see Tax Tip 2022.82):

  1. When the IRS makes an adjustment to your tax return, you will receive a report or letter explaining the proposed adjustments. This letter will also explain how to request a conference with an Appeals Office should you not agree with the IRS finding on your tax return.
  2. In addition to tax return examinations, many other tax obligations can be appealed. You may also appeal penalties, interest, trust fund recovery penalties, offers in compromise, liens, and levies.
  3. You are urged to be prepared with appropriate records and documentation to support your position if you request a conference with an IRS Appeals employee.
  4. Appeals conferences are informal meetings. You may represent yourself or have someone else represent you (such as an Enrolled Agent, an attorney, or a CPA).
  5. The IRS Appeals Office is separate from – and independent of – the IRS office taking the action you may disagree with. The Appeals Office is the only level of administrative appeal within the agency.
  6. If you do not reach agreement with IRS Appeals or if you do not wish to appeal within the IRS, you may appeal certain actions through the courts.
  7. For further information on the appeals process, refer to IRS Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest If You Disagree.

Additional Publications

In addition to Publication 5, there are several other IRS Publications that may help you in your appeal process. For example, Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights and Claims for Refund. You can also refer to Publication 1660 (PDF), Collection Appeal Rights, which discusses how you can appeal collection actions and Publication 3605, Fast Track Mediation–A Process for Prompt Resolution of Tax Issues. There is also Publication 1Your Rights as a Taxpayer.

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