|Appealing an IRS Determination|
You've just undergone an exhaustive IRS audit and your worst fears were realized. You owe money. A lot of it. Money you don't even have. You are now left with plenty of questions yet not a ton of options. At this juncture, you may feel inclined to toss your hands in the air, curl into the fetal position and drown out the world, but don't give up just yet.
Businesses, no matter how large or small, have the right to contest IRS determination in tax court. What does this mean? It means that the IRS decision isn't necessarily final. If you are able to prove your case in court, you could manage to reduce the fees or eradicate them altogether.
Great! How Do We Start?
How, when and where you present your case is ascertained by the IRS ruling itself, but first and foremost:
Make Sure Your Appeal is Valid – To have your case effectively heard, it must first fall under the rule of law, tax law in particular. When it comes to a tax appeal for example, you can't claim an conscientious objection or exemptions based on moral or religious grounds. After determining if your case falls within legal parameters, you can either file a claim using tax form 12203 (for cases where a determination of of $25, 000 or lower was made) and presenting it to the tax courts. If the determination was higher than $25,000 dollars, you will need to file a formal protest, which is a bit more involved. After all pertinent information if received, the courts will schedule a conference where they'll address your concerns and assess them for validity.
Know What You Are in For – Disputing a tax assessment is not the same as appealing a civil or criminal case. One major difference is that you won't see the individual who audited you at this point. Rather, an appeals officers will be assigned to your case and the process will begin with them. Because the appeals officer is unfamiliar with your case and may not have ties with the agent who audited you, you could feel as if you'd have a better chance at getting heard and resolving the matter to your satisfaction.
File Within the Allotted Time Limits – bear in mind that there is a tiny window of time to appeal the decision, usually 30 days. If you don't file your appeal within the scheduled frame, you will lose the right to have your case heard. The process is informal and can be done via letter correspondence or in face to face meetings. If you fear you won't have time to address the case, you should consider having someone serve as representative in your stead.
Hire a Knowledgeable Representative – In cases where you wish to appeal an IRS ruling, it is best to hire a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Agent to go over your case and accompany you to hearings. Someone ill equipped for the job could end up costing you your one chance to remove a heavy debt load from your shoulders. If you decide to let someone speak on your behalf, be sure they have the expertise and know how to present your case well.
At the need of the day, most Americans are unaware that they can even dispute an IRS audit ruling. If you have been audited recently, now would be to perfect time to claim your right to an appeal. A step in the right direction would be to hire a expert CPA, such as the ones found at GBC Income Tax Services of Atlanta. Don't put your future as risk by doing nothing...start the appeals process and see what you can do to reverse the decision and get your business back on the fast track.
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