If you recently went through an IRS audit, you may have thought that was one of the most stressful things you could go through. However, when you learned that the findings of the audit left you owing the government a significant amount of money, you may truly know the meaning of stress. While it may seem as if the IRS has all the power, the truth is that you do have some options.
You may feel intimidated at the thought of going up against an agency with a reputation for ruthlessness, but you should not spend too much time thinking about your fears. If you do not take steps to dispute the findings of the audit, you will soon be receiving a bill from the IRS. It may be worth it to discuss your case with a New York professional with experience in tax laws.
The Appeals Office
The IRS will send you a letter explaining its findings and informing you of the next steps you can take if you decide to appeal. This will likely involve a conference with the Office of Appeals, an independent agency that exclusively handles IRS appeals. You can follow the instructions on your letter to learn how to contact the Appeals Office nearest your New York home.
If you are dealing with IRS penalties or collection actions, such as levies, seizures or installment agreements, you will also file a formal protest with the IRS. You must take these steps before the deadline on your letter. These conferences are typically informal, but you have the right to have legal counsel with you. Anyone representing you must have the qualifications for practicing before the IRS and must have your power of attorney designation in cases where you will not be present.
Going to court
In some circumstances, when the IRS finds that you owe additional money, you can skip the appeal and fight their findings in tax court. Again, you must begin this process within the 90-day deadline noted in your deficiency letter from the IRS. Any conversations you have with the IRS after receiving your letter do not change the deadline.
You may find that the IRS is willing to settle your case without going to court. However, if your case is successful, the court may hold the IRS responsible for your legal fees and administrative costs, so it is wise to have a skilled attorney review your case as quickly as possible.