A Second Bite At The Apple: The Power Of Appeals

Request for Appeal" document on desk with pen and glasses - The Complex Tax Law Firm, LLCAppeals are a priceless asset in our negotiation arsenal. It never ceases to amaze me that representatives don’t use Appeals as often as they could, given that it’s a fundamental right for taxpayers. Some of my colleagues, not necessarily attorneys, have questioned why I file so many Appeals. My response has always been that it’s our responsibility to advocate for the taxpayer’s rights in their best interests, and that’s precisely what Appeals allow us to do. This is why we often refer to Appeals as a “second bite at the apple” because they provide an opportunity to challenge various IRS decisions, including levies, audits, or rejected installment agreements.

Appeals offer a fresh perspective, especially when it seems like a Revenue Officer or someone on the other end of the phone isn’t dedicating the necessary time to comprehend the financial intricacies of your case. We consider Appeals a crucial tool and particularly appreciate Appeals hearings because we know we’re interacting with professionals who approach cases with a practical mindset. More often than not, this approach leads to solutions that benefit all parties involved and that are aligned with our client’s best interests.

When To Consider An IRS Appeal And Compliance Matters

I hold Appeals in high regard, but there’s one crucial condition – staying on top of your current tax payments. To be eligible for an Appeal for back taxes owed, it’s essential that your company remains up-to-date with its taxes currently. It has to stop the bleeding before it can bandage the wound – so to speak. This is the key requirement. For example, if your company owes back 941 liabilities and you’re struggling to meet your current payroll taxes, you might be wondering, “Can I Appeal this?” Unfortunately, the answer is no. The first step is to catch up on your current payments, file your current returns, and settle your current taxes as a priority. Often, the conversation centers around achieving compliance with what you owe now and moving forward before we can start the Appeal process for prior years and periods of taxes incurred.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to remain compliant throughout the Appeal process. If, for instance, you’re not in compliance when the Appeal hearing arrives, there won’t even be a chance to discuss your case; it will be dismissed due to this technicality. Aside from this compliance requirement, there are very few situations where you can’t Appeal an IRS decision. If the IRS has turned down a proposal or suggested an action you disagree with, there are various types of Appeals available, each with its own pros and cons. These Appeals align with your rights as a taxpayer, giving you the power to challenge decisions when you believe they are incorrect or unfair.

Different Types Of Appeals And Strategies

Selecting the right type of Appeal strategy hinges on the unique circumstances of your case, so it’s highly advisable to seek counsel from a tax attorney. Remember: The IRS’s website or internal revenue manual might not provide all the answers you need and the different types of Appeals available to you vary depending on your situation.

For instance, there’s the collection due process Appeal to halt issuance of levies, equivalent hearings for missed appeals deadlines, and collection appeal processes for errantly filed Liens, Garnishments or erroneous actions taken by the IRS. In some cases, I’ve managed situations where I filed multiple Appeals simultaneously, withdrawing all others as soon as the first Appeal was acknowledged. This tactical approach streamlined my client’s path to resolution.

At the end of the day, when it comes to Appeals, there’s a great opportunity for creative problem-solving and thinking outside the box. With all that said, I strongly discourage filing an Appeal without professional representation. While there may be isolated instances of success for those who go it alone, more often than not, having expert guidance is in your best interest.

Potential Outcomes Of IRS Appeals For Businesses

Losing an Appeal isn’t the end of the world. It’s crucial to understand that an unsuccessful Appeal doesn’t immediately result in property seizures, levies, or finalizing an audit. In most cases, the matter simply reverts to the collections stage. However, there are exceptions, like in offer and compromise cases, where a lost Appeal can mean you won’t be granted an offer. Even still, you’ll retain the chance to re-engage in negotiations with collections.

The real value of Appeals lies in their potential for successful resolutions. For example, an Appeals officer can remove bank account attachments initiated by a Revenue Officer. After a successful Appeal, the Appeals officer can instruct the Revenue Officer to release the levies. This highlights why the benefits of filing an Appeal outweigh any potential drawbacks. It provides an additional opportunity to address your case thoughtfully and reach an effective resolution.

For more information on Your Appeals Options, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (303) 720-6573 today.