IRS Appeals Process

IRS Appeals Process | Reno, NV

If you’ve been audited and don’t agree with the audit results, you can dispute them with the IRS Appeals Division.  The Appeals Process starts the audit report, which you should’ve received at the conclusion of your audit.  This report provides all of the adjustments made to your tax return by the IRS auditor and information on how to appeal if you don’t agree.

Written Appeal Protest (more than $25,000 of tax and penalties)

To file an appeal, you must submit a written protest to the IRS unless you qualify for a Small Case Request (discussed below).  The written protest must include all of the following:

  1. Your name, address, and a daytime telephone number.
  2. A clear statement that you are appealing the IRS findings to the Office of Appeals.
  3. A copy of the audit report that shows the proposed changes.
  4. The tax years involved.
  5. A list of each proposed item with which you disagree.
  6. The reasons you disagree with each item.
  7. The facts that support your position on each item.
  8. The law or authority, if any, that supports your position on each item.
  9. The penalties of perjury statement as follows: “Under the penalties of perjury, I declare that the facts stated in this protest and any accompanying documents are true, correct, and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
  10. Your signature under the penalties of perjury statement.

You must send this formal written protest within 30 days from the date of your audit report, unless the letter that accompanied your report states otherwise.  Warning:  The IRS is very strict on this deadline and failure to timely submit your appeals protest could result in rejection.

Small Case Request (less than $25,000 of taxes and penalties)

If the entire amount of additional tax and penalties for each tax year that was audited amounts to less than $25,000 you may file for an Appeal by submitting Form 12203 instead of a written protest.

After the Appeal is Filed

After the appeal is filed, it will take 3-6 months for the IRS Office of Appeals to hear your case. During this time, you can work on gathering better substantiation for your deductions/income.  Also, because collections are not allowed until your appeal is finished, you might consider saving money in order to make a large down payment on your ultimate tax liability.

Your appeals hearing will take place with an IRS Appeals Officer and will be very similar to your initial audit.  This is your chance to provide additional information and explanations for your deductions, as well as tell the Appeals Officer why the original audit result was incorrect.  The Appeals Officer will review any additional documentation you provide and may ask questions during the meeting.

Results of Your Appeal

You will receive the results of your IRS Appeal 1-3 months after your appeals hearing.  The Appeals Officer will send you a letter identifying any changes he or she has made to the original audit report, if any.

If you do not agree with the Appeals outcome, you may file a petition in United States Tax Court to bring your case before a judge.