Appeals… Resolving Tax Disputes

Is Appeals right for you?
The Appeals mission is to settle tax disagreements without having to go to Court and a formal trial. Appeals is here to assist you if you don’t agree with a tax decision. The Office of Appeals is independent of any other IRS office and provides a venue where disagreements concerning the application of tax law can be resolved on a fair and impartial basis.
Our office represented hundreds of  clients on their appeals with the IRS. Please contact us at 562-868-6333 to see if Appeals would be the best approach for you.
Many of the different departments within IRS are responsible for making decisions concerning the application of tax law to various taxpayer issues. In some cases, agreement on these decisions, or determinations, cannot be reached. In other words, the taxpayer does not agree with the determination.
This is where Appeals comes in. Appeals is independent of any other IRS office and serves as an informal administrative forum for any taxpayer who disagrees with an IRS determination.  Appeals provides a venue where disagreements concerning the application of tax law can be resolved on a fair and impartial basis for both the taxpayer and the government. The mission of Appeals is to settle tax disagreements without having to go to the Courts and a formal trial. Make sure you discuss this appeal process with a tax professional.
What Can Appeals do for you?
Appeals is the place for you if:

  • You received an IRS correspondence explaining you have the right to come to Appeals to dispute an IRS decision.
    AND
  • You do not agree and are not signing an agreement form sent to you.

If you meet the above qualifiers listed above then you may be ready to request an Appeals conference or hearing.
Appeals is not for you if:

  • Your only concern is that you cannot afford to pay the amount you owe.
  • The correspondence you received from the IRS was a bill and there was no mention of Appeals.

If you cannot identify the requirements, or if you do not meet the conditions for coming to Appeals as explained above, please contact us at 562-868-6333 to discuss whether an Appeals is the place for you or not and how we can assist you specific situation.
Are You Ready to Request an Appeals Conference or Hearing?
Consider the following:

  • If you need help in deciding whether the IRS made an incorrect decision due to misinterpreting the law, check the publications discussing your issue(s) for additional information, or refer to Tax Topics.
  • If you believe the IRS did not properly apply the law due to a misunderstanding of the facts, be prepared to clarify and support your position refer to the Examination page.
  • If you believe the IRS is taking an inappropriate collection action against you, or you do not agree with Collection’s denial of your offer in compromise, refer to the Collections page.

If you believe the facts used by the IRS are incorrect, then you should have records or other support available to back up your position.
Preparing a Request for Appeals
Review the letter and publication(s) that were sent to you by the IRS department making the decision. These will tell you:

  • How to prepare a request for an appeal (protest)
  • Where to mail the request
  • When the request must be received
  • What information you need to include in the request for an appeal

For specific information appealing Examination issues, refer to the Examination page.
For specific information appealing Collection issues, refer to the Collection page.
FILING A REQUEST FOR APPEALS DOES NOT STOP INTEREST AND PENALTIES FROM ACCRUING
Interest and certain penalties will continue to accrue during the Appeals process and during any subsequent Appeals to the Courts on any amount not paid. In order to stop the accrual of interest and penalties on proposed adjustments, refer to Notice 1016, How to Stop Interest. For an explanation on how to stop interest from accruing on an unpaid balance, refer to Publication 594, What You Should Know About the IRS Collection Process.
What Can You Expect from Appeals?
Appeals is independent of any other IRS office and provides a venue where disagreements concerning the application of tax law can be resolved on a fair and impartial basis for both the taxpayer and the government.
An Appeals or Settlement Officer will review the strengths and weaknesses of the issues in your case and give them a fresh look. Appeals conferences are conducted in an informal manner, by correspondence, telephone or in person. Most differences are settled in these appeals without expensive and time-consuming court trials. Appeals will consider any reason you have for disagreeing, except for moral, religious, political, constitutional, conscientious objection, or similar grounds. Our goal is to provide a forum for us to work together to resolve the tax dispute.
Our Commitments

  • Explain your appeal rights and the Appeals process
  • Listen to your concerns, be courteous and professional
  • Be timely and responsive
  • Be fair and impartial

Your Responsibilities

  • Listen to our explanation of your appeal rights and the Appeals process
  • Give us a statement as to how you understand the facts and the law, listing all issues with which you disagree and why.
  • Give us any additional information or documentation that will be helpful to your case within a reasonable time.
  • Tell us when and how you think your case should be resolved.
  • Let us know the best time to contact you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I sent in my appeal request/protest. How long will it be before I hear from the Appeals office?
A. This varies, depending on the type of case you are appealing and the time needed to review the file before sending your case to Appeals. Normally, you can expect to hear from an Appeals employee within 90 days after you file your appeal request.
If more than 90 days have gone by and you still haven’t heard from Appeals, you should contact the office where you sent your appeal request. They can tell you when they forwarded your case to Appeals. If they were delayed in sending your case, you would not expect to hear from Appeals until at least 90 days from that date. If more than 90 days has gone by and there is no known delay, ask that office to contact Appeals to get a time frame for when Appeals will contact you. You can also contact an Appeals Account Resolution Specialist (AARS) in Fresno Appeals at 559-456-5931. After researching the Appeals data base, they can tell you if your case has been assigned to an Appeals employee, their name and number and you can contact that employee directly.
Q. How long will it take to resolve my case once it is received in Appeals?
A. It depends on the facts and circumstances. It could take anywhere from 90 days to a year. Appeals continues to work towards reducing the time to resolve cases.  Your Appeals Officer or Settlement Officer can provide you with a more specific time frame.
Learn more about what to expect of the Appeals process in these online videos.

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