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There is an important distinction between an audit reconsideration and an audit appeal, and these options are part of our arsenal of tactics to fight the IRS.

How Does an Audit Reconsideration Differ from an Audit Appeal?

You might have found yourself in a situation where you don’t quite agree with the IRS’s decision to audit your taxes. While your first reaction might be terror, there’s likely nothing to be afraid of.

As long as you respond politely with the requested documentation in the requested time frame, you’re working well within your rights as a tax payer. Of course, this may not be the time where you want to go it alone, so requesting the assistance of an experienced tax attorney may be very helpful.

The Primary Difference

An audit reconsideration and an audit appeal are two fairly similar processes with one primary distinction: audit reconsiderations are more informal and can be resolved without a court appearance, while audit appeals are more structured and may require a court appearance.

Now that you know the primary difference between these two processes, take some time to learn a little more about each as an individual.

Audit Reconsideration

This is the more informal of the two processes. You may request an audit reconsideration

  • You disagree with the result of an IRS tax audit you received
  • You were required to file a tax return, but did not, and the IRS created one for you

To maximize the chances of having your audit reconsideration approved, you will need to submit new information affecting the amount of tax owed, if you were not allowed to take certain credits you believe you should have received, if you believe the IRS made errors preparing your assessment, or if you filed a tax return prior to the IRS creating one for you.

To begin the audit reconsideration process, you need to file a tax return if you haven’t already, write a letter stating the changes you would like the IRS to reconsider, include as much documentation as you possible to support your argument, submit an examination report (typically a form 4549), include your contact information, and finally you must mail all of this to the IRS campus indicated on your examination report.

Once the process is finished, the IRS will contact you and request more information or provide you with your new tax liability, if it changes.

If you disagree with the results, it’s now time to file an Audit Appeal.

How to File an Audit Appeal

Attached to your results will be a letter containing instructions on how to begin the IRS appeals process. Typically, you have to fill out form 12203, which is a Request for Appeals Review, and mail it to the appropriate address indicated.

If you owe more than $25,000, you have to write a Formal Written Protest.

Eventually, your appeal request will be granted, and you are given an appointment with an appeals officer. You can represent yourself if you’d like, but you can also use the help of a tax professional, or ideally, a tax attorney.

Be sure to bring documentation and witnesses to support your case. The appeals officer will make a determination regarding your case. If you would like to dispute the results of your case, it is now time to take the case to court.

Seek the Help of a Competent Tax Attorney

This process becomes quite complicated, and while it is possible for you to fight the IRS on your own, you have the best chance of obtaining the results you desire by using the assistance of an experienced tax attorney.

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