IRS audit

IRS Audit Appeals

If a taxpayer undergoes an IRS audit and does not agree with the IRS audit examiner's proposed changes to his or her tax return, he or she can appeal them to the IRS Audit Appeals Office. The IRS Audit Appeals office is part of the IRS but is there to protect the taxpayer and resolve issues that the IRS cannot resolve by itself.

Why are there IRS Tax Audit Appeals?

Most of the time when there are differences between what the taxpayer believes and what the IRS believes, differences can be settled without expensive and time consuming court trials. Taxpayers have the right to appeal.

Where to get more help information on IRS Tax Audit Appeals?

The IRS tax audit appeal rights of taxpayers are outlined in IRS publication 5 called Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protect If You Don't Agree. IRS publication 556 called Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights and Claims of Refund also helps with the IRS Audit appeals.

Where to appeal results of an IRS audit?

If the taxpayer is unhappy with the findings and suggestions at the IRS audit, he or she can either appeal to the Appeals Office at the IRS or take his or her case to:

  • the US Tax Court,
  • the US Court of Federal Claims, or
  • the US District Court where he or she lives
What are the benefits of taking the IRS to court instead of appealing to the Appeals Office?

If the taxpayer takes the IRS to court, then the burden of proof falls on the IRS and the IRS will have to prove certain facts that implicate the taxpayer providing the taxpayer has done all of the followings.

  • kept adequate records to show his or her tax liability
  • cooperated with the IRS
  • meet certain other conditions

If the court agrees with the taxpayer on most issues in your appeal case and find that the IRS has made unjustified proposals then the taxpayer may be able to recover some of the administrative and litigation costs. However if the case goes to court, the IRS will make it hard for the taxpayer to prove his or her case, just as all court cases are. Most of the time, if you are in court with the IRS, the first question they will ask is if you have tried every other ways to resolve the issue including taking to the IRS audit examiner, his or her supervisor or taking the case to the Appeals Office and getting no where. Taxpayers generally don't like to take the IRS to court if their problems can be resolved by other means.