So you are convinced that the IRS erred in your tax assessment? You do have and can exercise your right to appeal for an IRS resolution. The taxpayer who disagrees with the IRS on the manner or the result of his tax examination may go to the Appeals Office to file his complaint. During their contact with taxpayers, IRS employees are required to explain and protect these taxpayer rights, including the right to appeal. Taxpayers who are not satisfied with the handling of their income tax cases may appeal through the IRS appeals mechanism specifically established for the purpose.
Internal IRS Appeal conferences are informal meetings. The local Appeals Office functions independently from the IRS office and can settle controversies on the spot or by various forms of communications. The IRS also offers an option called Fast Track Mediation, during which an appeals or settlement officer attempts to help you and the IRS reach a mutually satisfactory solution.
Initially, a taxpayer's appeal is handled informally in the IRS Appeals office. The local Appeals Office is authorized to receive and consider appeals and reach an agreement with the complainant over the telephone or through correspondence. There is also a Fast Track Mediation form of resolving issues where a mediation officer and the complainant seek ways of arriving at an acceptable compromise agreement. A tax issue that can be waived in court is qualified for Fast Track Mediation resolution. The Fast Track Mediation venue is the first stop for a taxpayer's complaint and only upon non-resolution will the case be subjected to an appeals hearing. Fast Track Mediation is meant to promote the early resolution of a dispute. The Fast Track Mediation is an additional means available to the taxpayer and will not deprive him of his right to avail of other appeal options. The taxpayer may at his sole judgment discontinue a mediation proceeding.
In the course of his appeal to the IRS, the taxpayer may act in his behalf or exercise his right to representation (a legal counsel, a CPA or other accredited tax practitioners).
If you and the IRS appeals officer cannot reach agreement, or if you prefer not to appeal within the IRS, in most cases you may take your disagreement to federal court. A court case however is inconvenient and costly and is resorted to only as a last option by the taxpayers.
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