Facing an audit from the IRS can be both a frightening and a frustrating experience, particularly if you sought tax advice to avoid tax disputes. After the IRS concludes your audit, you'll receive the auditor's findings in writing. If you disagree with the results, you have a couple of options, including settlement, appeal, and tax court.
Fast Track Settlement
The IRS designed the Fast Track Settlement program to resolve taxpayer disputes more quickly. The IRS will appoint an Appeals manager to act as a mediator in your dispute. If you can't resolve your issue through Fast Track Settlement, you can still appeal.
Appealing Audit Results
If you'd like to appeal after the results of an audit, you can do so within 30 days of receiving your official decision. After that, the IRS will appoint an Appeals Officer to your case, and negotiations can begin.
30 Day Letter
To file your initial appeal, you will do so within 30 days of your official determination. If you miss the deadline, you may be able to appeal, but the IRS can also deny your application to appeal. Therefore, you should detail the legal or factual reasons why you believe the IRS decision was incorrect in your appeal letter.
90 Day Letter
At the end of the IRS audit, they will send you a 90-day letter to notify you of any amounts owed as a result of the audit. In addition, the letter will tell you how to dispute the adjustment if you don't agree. You also need this 90-day letter before you can file a petition in Tax Court.
About 60 days after filing your appeal, you'll appear at an appeals hearing. At this hearing, you'll have the opportunity to present your case, including supporting documentation, receipts, records, and more. The Appeals Officer will review your case, and you can often settle your dispute through this appeals conference process.
After you receive a 90-day letter or notice of deficiency from the IRS, you can file a petition in Tax Court. Many cases will actually settle before trial through additional negotiation. But if your case does go to trial, a judge, rather than a jury, will hear your case.
At trial, you and your attorney will have the opportunity to present your case, introduce witnesses and evidence, and cross-examine IRS witnesses. An IRS District Counsel will present the government's case, present their witnesses and evidence, and cross-examine your witnesses. At the end of the trial, the judge will make a decision and state the amount of the deficiency you owe, if any, along with any penalties and interest.
Hire an Experienced Tax Attorney
If you're facing an IRS audit or other investigation or want to appeal an IRS audit determination, you need help from skilled tax professionals. At Gabaie & Associates, LLC, our attorneys have years of experience defending clients with complicated tax issues facing IRS audits and investigations and offering tax advice and guidance. Contact Gabaie & Associates, LLC online for a free consultation or call them at 410-358-1300.