Audits (which the IRS calls “examinations”) are the stuff of most taxpayer’s nightmares. When people think of tax audits, they automatically assume that some grey suit wearing IRS agent is there to increase their tax liability and take money from their wallets rather than give an accurate assessment of their taxes. This isn’t always the case. When it is, however, you have the right to file an appeal if you disagree with the results. You can also file an income tax appeal in a variety of other circumstances, such as in response to a tax lien, a tax levy, or a rejection of an offer in compromise. Here are the steps you should take if you want to appeal a tax audit.
Appealing An IRS Audit Notice
If you file a tax return that the IRS thinks is either incorrect or missing information, they’ll send you to notice. Such notices usually only require that you either:
- Sign it stating that you agree that the information on your returns is incorrect and that you will rectify it
- Request that you need more information regarding why the IRS thinks the information you provide is wrong
If done promptly, you can inform the IRS that you disagree with it. This first notice from the IRS sends is not a deficiency notice. The IRS may send you an Examination Report and letter (or what most tax layers call a “30-day letter”) if you fail to respond to the first notice. You have 30 days to respond with a written protest letter.
If the IRS sends you an Examination Report, you should write and mail them a letter of protest ASAP. In the letter, you should offer a detailed explanation and include whatever documents may be relevant to your protest. If you do this quickly, the IRS will transfer your case to their audit division.
Notice Of Deficiency
If you don’t respond to the deficiency notice, you’ll get what’s called a “90-day letter” by tax practitioners. This is when the IRS mails you a Notice of Deficiency requesting you to respond to the notice within 90 days (the IRS is required to list the actual deadline on page one of the notice). If you’re in this situation, it’s best usually to hire a tax lawyer because things can begin to get a bit complicated. If an IRS lawyer denies your request, you can then request the case be referred to IRS appeals.
What If You Don’t Agree With The Results Of The Audit?
If, after your audit, you disagree with the IRS’s findings, your only recourse is the court system. After going through the appeals process, certain cases may be taken to a U.S. tax court. Also, instead of going through the official appeals process with the IRS, you can take your tax claims to Federal Claims court. But sometimes this is the more difficult road to take.
If you need help appealing a tax audit contact Ayar Law at (248) 262-3400 to resolve your tax problems today!