What are my rights as a taxpayer? What appeal rights do I have regarding IRS actions or decisions? These are common questions a taxpayer may have when a tax liability is owed to the IRS and the taxpayer is in the collection process with the IRS. The information below has been provided for general information purposes. If you owe taxes to the IRS and/or the IRS is attempting to collect the tax liability, it is highly recommend you speak with a tax attorney regarding a resolution to the matter.
Many IRS collection actions can be appealed to the IRS Appeals Office. The appeals office is a separate office from IRS collections and is supposed to make independent decisions apart from IRS collections. You can review Revenue Procedure 2012-18, which provides more in depth information regarding the IRS appeals’ office independence from collection.
The appeals office follows two main procedures regarding appeal action. These two procedures would be Collection Due Process (often referred to as CDP) and Collection Appeals Program (CAP).
A Collection Due Process Hearing would be available under the following circumstances:
- The IRS Filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien
- The IRS Issued a Final Notice of Intent to Levy
- The IRS Issued Notice of Jeopardy Levy
- The IRS Issued a Notice of Levy on Your State Tax Refund
- Post Levy you request a hearing
A Collection Appeals Program would be available under the following circumstances:
- Before or after the IRS files a Notice of Federal Tax Lien
- Before or after the IRS levies or seizes your property
- Upon the termination or proposed termination of an installment agreement
- Upon the rejection of an installment agreement
- Upon the modification or proposed modification of an installment agreement
A Collection Appeals Program (CAP Appeal) will generally result in a quicker appeals decision and as stated above is available for somewhat of a broader set of circumstances. However, one should not that you cannot go to court after the CAP Appeal if you disagree with the CAP decision.
Can I represent myself? This is a common question, and yes, just like in any court matter you can represent yourself, but you may want to consider speaking with a tax attorney if you are not experienced in IRS procedure and tax law. You can also be represented by a family member, or if you are business, a full time employee can represent the business or partners and/or officers of a business can represent the business.
The above article has been prepared by John McGuire of The McGuire Law Firm. Mr. McGuire’s practice focuses primarily in taxation, including the representation of both individual and business taxpayers before the IRS.