It is a common misconception among American taxpayers that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offices work at a slow pace (I mean… they’re not the post office. Amirite??). The IRS took a big step by offering an efficient and timeless program that allows taxpayers to hold “face to face” meetings with the IRS representatives – IRS Virtual Appeal.
This program was designed to remove the need for paperwork, and the long wait taxpayers endure when appealing their tax situations. Learn some of the basics of the new IRS virtual appeal program in this article to resolve your time consuming and complicated tax matter faster.
What is the New IRS Virtual Appeal Program?
As its name suggests, the IRS virtual appeal is a web-based video conference program that connects the IRS representatives, taxpayers, and their representatives via virtual technology. The IRS launched the virtual appeal program on August 1, 2017, as a pilot program and later rolled it over to some selected states in 2018.
So far, the program has allowed taxpayers, their representatives, and IRS appeals office staff to hold a meeting by way of a safe, web-based video conference. The video conference is not only secure but also private and can be done in your office or home.
This is a program that will bring the much-needed efficiency in the tax appeal cases and eliminate the need of visiting the IRS offices countless times.
What are the Benefits of the New IRS Virtual Appeal Program?
According to the IRS, the new program is expected to be useful for taxpayers who are not located near the IRS appeal offices. It is much easier to make a video call than travel for many hours looking for the nearest IRS appeal office.
In particular, taxpayers who are physically challenged might find it more effective and easier to use the virtual appeal program rather than leave their homes to deal with tax matters. Another thing, it is useful for taxpayers who want an interactive engagement or intimate settings that a phone call cannot allow.
People might also feel more comfortable talking to the IRS agents through video conference while at their workplace or home as opposed to meeting one on one. Besides, the response is instant since you don’t need to wait for days like you would do if you sent a letter.
Important Things to Keep in Mind about the New IRS Virtual Appeal
While the new program might be more efficient and informal, it is still a legal process that requires your undivided attention. You should ensure that you are well-prepared for the virtual meeting with the IRS representatives just as you would do for a one-on-one meeting.
You should compile all the supporting documents before you initiate the video meeting. Besides, you should have all the copies of your tax returns near you to refer to when making your case.
Also, you are entitled to all due processes and rights as a taxpayer. You should request a written copy of all your rights from the IRS before you participate in the IRS virtual appeal meeting.
You also have a right to have a tax attorney or tax professional sitting beside you during the appeal process. Depending on your case, you might find that getting a professional tax attorney might be the best thing you can do to ensure favorable ruling.
Moreover, if you are contacted by an IRS agent regarding your tax matter and you don’t agree with the ruling, you can request to have a one-on-one meeting with the agent who contacted you and even notify that agent’s supervisor. If you cannot reach an agreement after the meeting, you can follow up by contacting your local appeal office of the IRS to prevent court proceedings.
Hire a Licensed Tax Attorney to Help You
Though appeals office video calls are informal and do not require you to have a lawyer, negotiating any issue that relates to taxes with the IRS can be a daunting and intimidating experience. This can be true even if you feel that the IRS ruling is incorrect and you have the documents to support your case.
Because you are allowed to hire formal representation, such as a certified public accountant, an enrolled agent, or an attorney, it might be in your best interest to secure their services to tilt the odds in your side. Imagine the relief and confidence you would have just knowing that an expert who understands tax law is supporting you?
While it is may be more affordable to represent yourself in a tax appeal case, it is often less effective, and you could end up losing. The person you hire can also appear with you at the appeal meeting – be it in person, over the phone, or via virtual video calls. An attorney can even appear on your behalf, with a power of attorney.
If you are the successful party following the virtual appeal, you can even take the matter further and pursue reimbursement of the expenses you used – there are limitations to these expenses which tax professionals can help you to understand better.
For instance, the IRS states that taxpayers can only request for “reasonable amounts” for administrative fees, court costs, and analysis and studies to support your case. Also, the IRS specifies that a professional representative fee cannot exceed $125 per hour.
The IRS virtual appeal is a new program that offers a lot of benefits for taxpayers who want to appeal an IRS tax assessment or penalty. One of the main benefits is that it enables allow your appeal to be heard in a more intimate and interactive setting even if you are far from the IRS offices.
Depending on your case, you have the right to sue the IRS for reimbursement of various expenses such as attorney fees, administrative fees, court cost, and costs of analysis and studies. If you want to be paid these costs, you should consider hiring a tax attorney to be present during the IRS virtual appeal.
Or, if you just want representation to ensure your best outcome, you should contact a qualified tax attorney for representation. Contact the highly skilled attorneys at Ayar Law 800.571.7175