Tax Appeals & the Role of an Attorney

The federal government is overwhelmed by the hundreds and thousands of Americans under audit and those who owe money to the IRS. Since it is difficult for the IRS to pursue and attend to each and every case, the Office of Appeals was created to handle the large numbers of disputed tax cases.

A tax appeal is a common way to resolve disagreements you have with the IRS which relate to items you report on your return. If you choose to go this route, there are certain procedures you must follow to ensure you retain your right to an appeal.

Before you can appeal, you must draft a formal letter to the IRS requesting that the penalty is removed or the judgment by the IRS changed. Ensure you include your personal contact information, an affirmative statement that you are administering your right to appeal, a copy of the IRS notification, the relevant tax years which resulted in the dispute, and the statements of law and fact that support your tax return position. Once the written request is accepted, they can move through the formal tax appeal process.

You have the right to request an appeals conference, which is an informal meeting where the case is handled by an impartial officer, rather than a judge, with the Office of Appeals. However, if you are unsatisfied with the officer’s decision, you may file a lawsuit in court.

If you choose to pursue the issue in court, you can pay the amount of tax in dispute and file the proper documentation in a U.S. District Court or the Court of Federal Claims for a refund. If you refuse to pay the tax or unable to do so, only the U.S. Tax Court has jurisdiction over your case.

Although you do not need to hire an attorney because all taxpayers can essentially represent themselves, it is ill-advised to go into a tax appeal on your own. It is critical to hire an experienced and qualified tax professional to help you navigate through the legal system and protect your tax rights. Doing so on your own can be quite overwhelming and may result in a negative outcome. A lawyer can help you find the most savings and prevent any unnecessary losses you could sustain.

For more information, contact our Brevard County tax attorney at The Buchalter Law Group today.

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