Administrative Appeals Representation
When a taxpayer requests that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) take some type of administrative action with regard to the taxpayer’s accounts, the taxpayer may not agree with the IRS’s initial decision. Whether the decision involves the rejection of an Offer in Compromise or Installment Agreement request or some other administrative action, the taxpayer generally receives appeal rights to dispute the IRS’s decision.
The IRS Office of Appeals is independent from the IRS Collection Division and serves as an informal forum for taxpayers who disagree with IRS decisions. The Office of Appeals offers taxpayers a fair and impartial venue where disagreements can be resolved between the taxpayer and the government.
There are many reasons why the taxpayer might disagree with the IRS’s decision. For example, the taxpayer may feel that the IRS misinterpreted the law or misunderstands the facts. Alternatively, the taxpayer may dispute what it feels is an inappropriate collection action. Some of the most frequently contested determinations include the rejection of a request for innocent spouse relief, the rejection of an Offer in Compromise, and the denial of a request for abatement of penalties. Appeals may abate penalties due to reasonable cause, statutory exceptions, and administrative waiver. The two most common penalties considered in Appeals are Failure to File and Failure to Pay.
Appeals conferences are informal, and may be conducted in person, by correspondence, or by telephone. Typically, the taxpayer can expect to hear from the Appeals office within 90 days of submitting its Appeals request. Once the case is received in appeals, resolution of the case could take anywhere from 90 days to a year.