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What Are Your Options if You Disagree with the IRS?

Posted in Offshore Account Update on May 31, 2022 | Share

You filed your tax return, paid your taxes and now the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is saying you did it wrong. Not only are you facing substantial additional tax liability, but you are facing liability for interest and penalties as well. What are your options if you disagree? Washington D.C. tax lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, explains:

Filing a Protest with the IRS’ Independent Office of Appeals

Assuming you cannot work out a resolution with the IRS informally, your next step may be to file a protest with the IRS’ Independent Office of Appeals. While the Independent Office of Appeals is part of the IRS, it generally “will not discuss a case with the IRS to the extent that those communications appear to compromise the independence of Appeals.”

When you file a petition with the Independent Office of Appeals, it will only consider information that you have supplied to the IRS previously. As the IRS explains, “[i]f you provide new information or raise new issues to Appeals that the IRS has not previously considered, it may first need to be considered by an IRS employee.” When evaluating a taxpayer’s appeal, the Independent Office of Appeals can reverse the IRS’ decision, reverse it in part and affirm it in part, or affirm it entirely.

Alternatives to Filing a Protest with the IRS’ Independent Office of Appeals

While filing a protest with the IRS’ Independent Office of Appeals will be U.S. taxpayers’ best option in many circumstances, there are certain situations in which other options may prove more advantageous. These options include:

Hiring a Tax Lawyer to Deal with the IRS

Even if you are not able to convince the IRS that it has incorrectly calculated your tax liability during a tax audit, an experienced Washington D.C. tax lawyer may be able to successfully argue your case on your behalf.

Fast Track Settlement

Fast Track Settlement (FTS) is an option that involves continuing to work with the IRS directly while a “specially trained” employee from the Independent Office of Appeals mediates your tax dispute.

Federal Court

The U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and U.S. District Courts across the country handle tax disputes under varying circumstances. In many cases, taxpayers have the option of filing a petition with the Independent Office of Appeals before going to court.

Innocent Spouse Appeals

If you are facing additional liability to the IRS because your spouse filed a false or fraudulent income tax return, you may qualify for innocent spouse relief. If so, you will need to file an innocent spouse appeal.

Pass-Through Entity Appeals

Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA), partnerships and other pass-through business entities have the option to file pass-through entity appeals. While these cases go to the Independent Office of Appeals, they involve different procedures than appeals filed by individual taxpayers.

Discuss Your Situation with Washington D.C. Tax Lawyer Kevin E. Thorn

If you need to know more about your options for challenging the IRS’ determination of your (or your business’s) tax liability, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Thorn Law Group. Call 202-349-4033, email ket@thornlawgroup.com or contact us confidentially online to request an appointment with Washington D.C. tax lawyer and Managing Partner Kevin E. Thorn.


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