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Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP)

Preparing a request for Appeals.

Small Case Request

If the total amount of the proposed assessment for each tax period is $25,000 or less, you may file a small case request.  If more than one tax period is involved and any tax period exceeds the $25,000 threshold, a formal written protest for all periods must be filed.

Send a letter stating that you want to Appeal the proposed assessment(s) to the attention of the IRS officer whose name and address are listed on the letter (Letter 1153) that you received.

  • Enclose a copy of the Letter 1153 and include your name, address, social security number, and daytime telephone number.
  • Explain why you don't believe you are responsible for the unpaid taxes and/or the reason you disagree with the amount of the proposed assessment(s).
  • Include a clear explanation of your duties and responsibilities during the tax period(s) listed in the letter.

Formal Written Protest 

If the total amount of the proposed assessment for any one tax period is greater than $25,000, you must file a formal written protest for all periods.

  • Send your formal written protest to the attention of the IRS officer whose name and address are listed on the letter (Letter 1153) that you received.
  • Include a statement that you want to appeal the proposed assessment(s).
  • Include your name, address, social security number, and daytime telephone number.
  • Enclose a copy of the Letter 1153.
  • List the tax periods involved.
  • Explain why you don't believe you are responsible for the unpaid taxes or the reason you disagree with the amount of the proposed assessment(s).
  • Include a clear explanation of your duties and responsibilities.
  • Cite the law or authority, if any, on which you are relying.
  • Sign the written protest under the penalties of perjury, by making the following statement: “Under the penalties of perjury, I declare that I examined the facts stated in this protest, including any accompanying documents, and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete.”

If your representative prepares and signs the protest for you, he or she must substitute a declaration stating:

  • He or she submitted the protest and accompanying documents.
  • He or she knows personally that the facts stated in the protest and accompanying documents are true and correct.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 06-May-2015