Requesting an Appeal

After considering an appeal and determining that Appeals is the place for you, you may request an appeal by filing a written protest. Complete your protest and mail it to the IRS address on the letter that explains your appeal rights. Don’t send your protest directly to the Office of Appeals; this will only delay the process and may prevent Appeals from considering your case.

Before sending your case to Appeals, the IRS Examination or Collection office that made a tax assessment or initiated collection action will consider your protest and attempt to resolve the disputed tax issues. If that office can’t resolve these issues, they will forward your case to Appeals for consideration.

When you come to Appeals, you may represent yourself or have a professional represent you. Your 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 (PDF), 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 (PDF).

File a Protest

We require a formal written protest to request an Appeals conference, unless you qualify under the Small Case Request procedures discussed below.  For information on filing a formal written protest or a Small Case Request, refer to Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If You Don’t Agree (PDF)

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

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 period is $25,000 or less. If you are appealing the denial of an offer in compromise, the entire amount for each tax period includes total unpaid tax, penalty and interest due. Employee plans, 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 (PDF), the form referenced in the letter you received to file your appeal or prepare a brief written statement. List the disagreed item(s) and the reason(s) you disagree.

Appeal a Collection Decision

In addition, if you’re appealing a collection decision, you should select the appeal procedure listed below that corresponds to your case for specific instructions to prepare your request for Appeals.  Remember, if you decide you want to present your dispute to Appeals, you will need to mail it to the office that sent you the decision letter.

Collection Appeals Program (CAP) is generally quick and available for a broad range of collection actions. However, you can’t go to court if you disagree with the Appeals decision.

You may go through the CAP process if you are involved in any of the following collection actions:

  • Lien
  • Levy
  • Seizure
  • Rejection of Installment Agreement
  • Termination of Installment Agreement
  • Modification of Installment Agreement

CAP Procedures

If your only collection contact has been a notice or telephone call:

  • Call the IRS telephone number shown on your notice
  • Explain why you disagree and that you want to appeal the decision
  • Be prepared to offer a solution
  • Before you can start the appeals process with the Office of Appeals, you will need to first discuss your case with a Collection manager, unless the appeal involved a rejected, proposed for modification, modified, proposed for termination or terminated installment agreement

If you have already been in contact with a revenue officer:

  • Call the revenue officer you've been dealing with
  • Explain why you disagree and that you want to appeal the decision
  • Be prepared to offer a solution
  • Before you can start the appeals process with the Office of Appeals, you will need to discuss your case with a Collection manager, unless the appeal involved a rejected, proposed for modification, modified, proposed for termination or terminated installment agreement
  • Complete Form 9423, Collection Appeals Request (PDF)
  • Submit the completed Form 9423 to the revenue officer within 3 days of your conference with the Collection manager

For more information, refer to Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights (PDF).

You are entitled to a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing with Appeals if the IRS sends you a notice that states you have the right to request a CDP hearing, such as:

  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing and Your Right to a Hearing Under IRC 6320
  • Final Notice - Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing
  • Notice of Jeopardy Levy and Right of Appeal
  • Notice of Levy on Your State Tax Refund – Notice of Your Right to a Hearing
  • Post Levy Collection Due Process (CDP) Notice

CDP Procedures

  • You generally have 30 days from the date of the notice to timely request a CDP hearing
  • Complete Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing (PDF)
    • It’s important to identify all the reasons for any disagreement you have
  • Send the completed Form 12153 to the same address that is shown on your CDP Notice
  • If your request is timely made, you will be entitled to an Appeals hearing and to seek judicial review of that hearing with the Tax Court
  • If your request is timely, IRS levy action is generally suspended against you for the tax periods you appealed
  • If your request is not timely, you are still entitled to request a CDP Equivalent Hearing with Appeals within the 1-year period described in the Form 12153. However, if you still disagree with the Appeals decision in the Equivalent Hearing you have no right to judicial review by the Tax Court

For more information, refer to:

 An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an agreement between the taxpayer and the government that settles a tax liability for payment of less than the full amount owed. If you received a letter notifying you that your offer was rejected, you have 30 days from the date on the letter to request an appeal of the decision.

For more information, refer to:

This penalty can apply if you are a person responsible for:

  • Collecting or withholding
  • Accounting for or
  • Depositing or paying specified taxes

If you willfully fail to do so, you can be held personally liable for a penalty equal to the full amount of the tax that was not paid, plus interest. This includes:

  • Non-resident alien (NRA) withholding
  • Employment taxes
  • Excise taxes

A responsible person for this purpose can be:

  • An owner or officer of a corporation
  • A partner
  • A sole proprietor
  • An employee of any form of business

A trustee or agent with authority over the funds of the business can also be held responsible for the penalty.  The assessment of the trust fund recovery penalty is applicable to the following tax forms:  CT-1, 720, 941, 943, 944, 945, 1042 and 8288.

Refer to Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If You Don’t Agree (PDF), for information on preparing your protest. In addition to the steps outlined in the publication, when preparing your formal written protest or small case request:

  • Enclose a copy of the Letter 1153, Proposed Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Notification
  • 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
  • Send your protest to the attention of the IRS officer whose name and address are listed in the Letter 1153 you received