Your taxes have been filed. You sit back and relax, and maybe even wait for an overpayment refund. All seems right with the world. But then you get something strange in the mail. A letter from the IRS but you think there must be some mistake: You owe them MORE; or, you get back less than you were expecting.
What should you do? Some might accept it as their unlucky situation, as if their tax return was a slot machine and it came up as three different symbols instead of the 3 lemons you were expecting. I suspect the IRS is banking on this. After all, they are the faceless, bureaucratic giant and you are the lowly person afraid that you’ll open Pandora’s Box of Audits if you say anything.
But you do have options if you don’t like what the IRS is dishing out. The IRS has a system in place for taxpayers to file appeals. It’s with the IRS Appeals office, which is a separate and independent office so you don’t have to deal directly with the people who worked on your return.
When appealing an IRS decision (including your refunds or other things like penalties, interest, trust fund recovery penalties, offers in compromise, liens and levies), you should pull together as much information as you can in order to support your case. And, when appealing, you can represent yourself or have representation from a tax attorney.
For more information about filing an appeal with the IRS, download this IRS-created PDF called
“Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest if You Don’t Agree“.
The IRS is a tough, hard organization, but if it has a softer side at all, it’s the folks who work for the Appeals Division.
Never hesitate to file an income tax appeal, it could end up giving you thousands of dollars in newly found money.