Requesting an Appeal

If you disagree with the IRS's determination, you may request an appeal with the Office of Appeals by filing a written protest. Your protest requesting an Appeal should be completed and mailed to the IRS address on the letter explaining your Appeals rights. Your protest should not be mailed directly to the Office of Appeals; this will delay the process and in some instances could preclude you from Appeals consideration. If the case still cannot be resolved and the protest is adequate your entire case file will be forwarded to the Office of Appeals for consideration. You may represent yourself, or have a professional represent you. The representative must be an attorney, a certified public accountant, or an enrolled agent authorized to practice before the IRS. See publication 947, Practice before IRS and the Power of Attorney, for information regarding other individuals who may serve as representatives. If you want your representative to talk to us without you, you must provide us with  a copy of a completed power of attorney Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.

To decide if you should appeal your tax dispute, consider the following:

  • If you believe the IRS made an incorrect decision based on a misinterpretation of the law, check the publications discussing your issue(s), or refer to Tax Topics.
  • If you believe the IRS did not properly apply the law due to a misunderstanding of the facts, be prepared to clarify and support your position.
  • If you believe the IRS is taking inappropriate collection action against you, or your offer in compromise was denied and you disagree with that decision, be prepared to clarify and support your position.  Refer to the Collections page for additional information. 
  • If you believe the facts used by the IRS are incorrect, then you should have organized records or other evidence to support your position.


A formal written protest is required in all cases to request an Appeals conference, unless you qualify for the Small Case Request procedure discussed below or another special appeal procedure.  

Note: If you disagree with a lien, levy, seizure, or denial or termination of an installment agreement, see Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights, for information on filing your protest.

How to file a Formal Written Protest

Include all of the following:

  1. Your name, address, and a daytime telephone number.
  2. A statement that you want to appeal the IRS findings to the Office of Appeals.
  3. A copy of the letter you received that shows the proposed change(s).
  4. The tax period(s) or year(s) involved.
  5. A list of each proposed item with which you disagree.
  6. The reason(s) 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.

If your representative prepares and signs the protest for you, he or she must substitute a declaration for the penalties of perjury statement that includes:

  1. That he or she submitted the protest and any accompanying documents, and
  2. Whether he or she knows personally that the facts stated in the protest and any accompanying documents are true and correct.

You must send your formal written protest within the time limit specified in the letter that offers you the right to appeal the proposed changes. Generally, the time limit is 30 days from the date of the letter.

How to file a Small Case Request

You may submit a Small Case Request if the entire amount of additional tax and penalty proposed for each tax year is $25,000 or less. For an offer in compromise, the entire amount for each tax period includes total unpaid tax, penalty and interest due. 

Note: Employee plan, exempt organizations, S corporations and partnerships are not eligible for Small Case Requests.

  1. Follow the instructions in the letter you received.
  2. Use Form 12203, Request for Appeals Review, or the form referenced in the letter to file your appeal, or prepare a brief written statement. List the disagreed item(s) and the reason(s) you disagree.

Note: Forms to use to file your appeal are available online or by calling 1-800-829-3676 (1-800-TAX-FORM).