The IRS Office of Appeals offers taxpayers an opportunity to resolve their tax disputes without going to court. Appeals is an independent function within the IRS that provides an impartial review of your tax dispute. Appeals also offers mediation services through Fast Track Settlement and other programs.
These mediation programs are designed to help you resolve your dispute at the earliest possible stage in the audit or collection process. The Appeals process is right for you, if:
- You have fully worked your case with the IRS examination or collections function.
- You received a letter from the IRS explaining your right to appeal the IRS’s decision.
- You do not agree with the IRS’s decision.
- You are not signing an agreement form sent to you.
If all of the above are true, then you may be ready to request an Appeals conference or hearing.
The Appeals process is NOT right for you, if any of the following apply:
- The correspondence you received from the IRS was a bill, and there was no mention of Appeals.
- You did not provide all information to support your position to the examiner during the audit.
- Your only concern is that you cannot afford to pay the amount you owe.
Remember, you are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. You generally have the right to take your cases to court.
A list of your rights as a taxpayer and IRS obligations to protect them can be found in IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer.
For further information on the appeals process, read Publication 5 , Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest If You Don't Agree, and Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights and Claims for Refund. You can also refer to Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights.
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