Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court. Usually, if there's a dispute, you'll receive a letter from the IRS explaining your right to appeal, but you can also start an appeal request. The first thing you should do is ask to talk to the auditor's manager to find out if you can reach a satisfactory solution with him or her. The appeal is designed to be a free and relatively simple alternative to help you avoid having to take your case to court.
For information on each function and a functional point of contact, see the appeals organization chart in PDF. Before submitting your case to Appeals, the IRS examination or collection office that conducted a tax assessment or initiated a collection action will consider your protest and will attempt to resolve the controversial tax issues. The IRS Collection Service must first receive the appeal in order to process and send the case file to Appeals. Mail your appeal request directly to the person or IRS office that made the determination you are seeking to appeal.
If you've had difficulty dealing with the IRS or have questions about your tax issues that the IRS hasn't been able to resolve after several attempts, you can contact the local Taxpayer Advocate office for help. During the call, the appeals officer will provide you with your name, identification number, and contact information, including your telephone number, email fax, and email address. The IRS examination or collection office that conducted a tax assessment or initiated a collection action will consider your protest and will attempt to resolve the disputed tax issues. The IRS will consider your case based on your income, expenses, assets and general ability to pay, and will determine a payment amount that may be less than the total of your outstanding tax bill.
Cases received directly from Compliance that have not been filed with the Tax Court are called “unfiled cases”. If you're not happy with the results of the appeals process, you can generally take your case to court, although keep in mind that it's likely to be an expensive and time-consuming option. This telephone contact will generally be made in cases where the taxpayer has filed an application with the court as a result of a letter from the IRS Correspondence Examination Unit or the Underreporting Income Unit. This is one of the ten basic rights known collectively as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights that all taxpayers have when they work with the IRS.
If you meet the criteria, we will give you an opportunity to request that information before the appeals conference. In addition, if you are appealing a collection decision, you should select the appeal procedure below that corresponds to your type of case for specific instructions to prepare your appeal.