How to Resolve a Tax Dispute with the IRS
If you disagree with the IRS about a decision they have made regarding your tax return, you may assume that you don’t have any chance of resolving it in your favor. Well, as it turns out, you may have a better chance than you might think – especially if you follow some basic tips and the following strategy. Here is how we suggest you resolve a tax dispute with the IRS:
1. Do Not Panic
A dispute with the IRS can cause significant anxiety and stress, but it doesn’t have to. Of course, you already have a full plate before having to worry about a potential tax dispute. Recognize that a tax dispute is very often resolved in writing, without a face-to-face meeting. Keep in mind that getting all worked about the problem won’t solve it, and it could even make things worse by making you chose a bad decision somewhere along the way.
2. Read Carefully and Respond Quickly
Generally, the best response, if you receive a notice or letter from the IRS disputing a part of your tax return, is to take the time to read the entire notice, making note of the action requested, date requested and information that is requested. Many disputes with the IRS can be resolved with very little effort if you follow the directions outlined in the notice.
If you disagree with the notice, pull together any/all supporting documentation that you have (receipts, tax forms, etc.) and respond in writing by the deadline listed in the correspondence. While it might seem like the federal government has a tendency to drag its feet, you don’t want to do anything that might provide them with the freedom of moving even more slowly. Reply well in advance of this deadline if at all possible to ensure faster service.
If you do not agree with a decision or ruling made by the IRS, you have the right to appeal. You can appeal the results of an audit or a change made to an offer in compromise in which the IRS has increased the penalties and fees associated with your payment.
You may qualify for mediation services through IRS programs like Fast Track Settlement (FTS), which can make this process much easier. Getting access to them, though, could be rather challenging since the IRS seldom considers these to be first-line options. Appeals can be complicated and you may need professional assistance to manage this process.
4. Get the Support of a Tax Professional
In fact, an experienced tax expert can help you at every step along the way, not just while you’re making an appeal. If you are not comfortable communicating your dispute with the IRS yourself, you may want to enlist the help of a tax firm. Professional tax firms have years of experience communicating directly with the IRS on behalf of clients. Tax firms can help you with effective communication and they can go over your tax documents and help you formulate the best possible argument to support your position.
5. Taxpayer Advocate Service
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) has an office in every state and can be a resource for individuals seeking help with a tax dispute. This service is generally best suited for taxpayers who are experiencing financial hardship and have already tried repeatedly to resolve their tax issue without success. Keep in mind that while the TAS is actually part of the IRS, their agents are supposed to operate independently from tax collectors. The TAS in your state is committed to providing professional and courteous communication.
This might sound a bit unusual if you normally think of IRS agents as kind of scary, but in actuality, they’re people just like you. Sometimes they even have tax problems of their own, so they might be more understanding than you think. Unfortunately, they have to tend to the needs of the whole USA every single day, so luckily there’s another place you can turn to in your time of need.
About Success Tax Relief
Success Tax Relief is a full-service tax firm that has been helping clients all over the country for more than 30 years. If you have received a notice from the IRS that you do not agree with, do not spend time worrying about what you should do. Instead, call our tax professionals and let us help you draft your response to the IRS. We can give you the best possible chance at a positive resolution.