Charity and Nonprofit Audits: Appeal Rights and Procedures


The Appeal System

Because people sometimes disagree on tax matters, the IRS has an appeal system. Most differences can be settled within this system without going to court.

Appeal Within the IRS

The tax decision reached by the examiner may be appealed to the Independent Office of Appeals (Appeals) which is separate and independent of the IRS office that conducted the examination. An Appeals office is the only level of appeal within the IRS. Conferences with appeals office personnel may be conducted in person, through correspondence, or by telephone with the taxpayer or its authorized representative. Only attorneys, certified public accountants or enrolled agents are allowed to represent a taxpayer before Appeals. An unenrolled preparer may be a witness at the conference, but not a representative.

Appeal to Courts

In addition to administrative remedies, an organization may use certain judicial remedies. If statutory prerequisites are met, an organization may file suit in a United States District Court or the United States Claims Court for a refund of taxes paid, or in the United States Tax Court for a re-determination of any tax deficiencies. An exempt organization may also file suit for a declaratory judgment in certain situations.

Additional information

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