Appealing An Examination Dispute - YouTube video text script


If the IRS has increased how much you owe, such as through an audit, and you disagree, in most cases, you may be able to appeal the IRS’s decision.

The IRS Independent Office of Appeals, or sometimes referred to as Appeals, is a separate organization within the IRS. Our mission is to resolve tax disputes fairly and impartially. We are required by law to be independent, so if you request an Appeal, we will review your case, impartially, and make a decision based on how we think the law applies to your case. Using this approach, we resolve most of the cases that come to Appeals.

If you decide to request an appeal, be sure to provide all of your information to the IRS employee working your case so that they can consider it before it is sent to Appeals.

Here is a brief overview of what you can expect if you Appeal your case.

First, your case will be assigned to an Appeals Officer who will contact you to schedule a conference. Appeals conferences are informal meetings and can be held in person by telephone or by video. We can also work with you through the mail or even secured email. Remember, you are the one who decides how you want to meet with us for your conference.

The appeals process is designed to be informal and easy for any taxpayer. You can have a tax professional, like an attorney or CPA, represent you during your appeal, or you can represent yourself. It’s your choice.

Before your Appeals conference, be sure to prepare as much as you can and gather all the information you want the Appeals Officer to consider, including any documents, like invoices or receipts, that can help prove your case. Having this information ready will help prevent delays in resolving your case. You may also have the right to review your IRS case file prior to your Appeals conference.

If you provide any new information to Appeals that was not previously provided to the IRS, Appeals may be required to return your case to the IRS’s compliance division for consideration of the new information. We do this to protect our independence and impartiality -- Appeals should not be the first to review information – our role is to resolve disputes. You can also be confident that we will not discuss your case with the IRS’s compliance division, without giving you an opportunity to participate.

After the conference, the Appeals Officer will consider the facts and the law that applies to your case. Sometimes… the issues are clear cut… meaning the facts and law leave little doubt as to the correct decision. This might mean that the Appeals Officer will decide that the IRS’s decision was wrong. Or it might mean that they decide that the IRS’s decision was correct.

In other cases, the facts may be difficult to establish, or the law may have different interpretations. When faced with these gray areas, the Appeals Officer will consider what the potential outcome might be if your case were to go to court. They then might make a settlement offer, or a compromise, that considers the risk of taking your case to court. This is a common outcome in Appeals cases.

If you agree with the Appeals Officer’s decision… they will generally send you an agreement form to sign. If you don’t agree… the Appeals Officer will discuss whether you have further options, such as petitioning the tax court.

Remember that if you do come to Appeals, you do not lose any right you might have to challenge the IRS in court if you cannot reach an agreement with Appeals.

If you still have questions…check out this page, i-r-s-dot-gov-slash-appeals or download from IRS publication 4227…which is the overview of the Appeals process … or you can always ask your Appeals Officer.