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When to Appeal an IRS Audit

When to Appeal an IRS Audit

You’ll have to consider the following factors when deciding whether to appeal the results of an IRS audit:

  • How much money is at stake.
  • Your arguments for disputing the tax assessment.
  • Whether you are able to come to a settlement.
  • The advice of your representative or tax attorney.

If you do decide to appeal the audit, you have several options.

Informal Appeals

Your first option is to informally appeal the audit results with the examiner’s supervisor. However, this option is only available for audits that take place at an IRS office. Audits can also be done by correspondence or in the field.

The good thing about these appeals is that they can be done immediately after receiving the proposed changes to your return. If you can’t agree with the supervisor or your audit didn’t take place at an IRS office, you can move on to other appeal options.

Fast Track Mediation

You’ll have 30 days to appeal the proposed changes to your return. The quickest appeal option is to request Fast Track Mediation, which is often scheduled within one week.

A trained mediator will try to help you, your representative, and the IRS examiner sort out your issues. The mediation is non-binding, so you can leave at any time and aren’t required to agree to a resolution.

IRS Office of Appeals

The next step is to appeal with your local IRS Appeals Office. This is a separate division from the office that audited your return.

You’ll need to either file a small case request or a formal protest to requesting an appeals conference. Formal protests are required for cases involving more than $25,000 and some other types of cases.

Because the Appeals Office is a separate branch of the IRS, you may be able to negotiate with a little more flexibility. Even if you can’t reach an agreement, you still have the option to go to Tax Court.

Tax Court

After going through IRS appeals, you’ll receive a Notice of Deficiency. This notice gives you 90 days to file a petition with the U.S. Tax Court.

Keep in mind that you won’t have to pay your tax liability during this entire process. However, if you fail to petition the Tax Court within 90 days, you’ll only be able to dispute the tax by paying it in full and then requesting a refund.

Use our contact form to request a consultation with an Atlanta tax audit defense attorney at The Gartzman Law Firm.