While it is always the best idea to resolve all IRS issues at the lowest possible level, sometimes it is necessary to go through the IRS Office of Appeals. While this may seem intimidating to clients, our tax specialists have training with the Office of Appeals and are confident the issue will be resolved, and most often with great results!
The IRS has an appeals process in case either party disagrees on tax details.
Our clients experience better results going through Appeals for a few reasons. Firstly, someone new and objective is handling the case and may have a different point of view. The Appeals process provides an objective forum where all sides can be heard, giving the client the benefit of having all information reviewed by an impartial and unbiased IRS employee. Additionally, Appeals must consider the “hazards of litigation,” which generally refer to the probability that the examination’s position might not be held up in court. Because the IRS wants to resolve all cases as quickly and inexpensively as possible, they oftentimes want to avoid taking the case to court, especially when the judge can vote either way. In these cases, the IRS employee might choose to meet the taxpayer in the middle and allow half of the deductions to settle so he/she can close the case and have a certain settlement.
In general, any case with a high dollar amount at stake and a reasonable taxpayer position might benefit from taking the case to Appeals. It is found that most IRS revenue agents and revenue officers are more strict about either a “right” or “wrong” side, but many Appeals officers are more flexible and open-minded, which can serve taxpayers well.
Due to the Appeals officer’s unbiased opinion, it is very important to present a good protest so he/she can understand our client’s side. On behalf of our clients, our tax specialists will provide a clear statement that we feel our client should challenge, a copy of the letter showing the proposed changes, the tax periods/years involved, a list of the changes that our client does not agree with, facts supporting our client’s position, and more. Providing complete, factual, and easy to understand information will make the Appeals officer’s job easier and gives our client the best chance for a favorable outcome, which is our main goal.
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