On both the IRS audit/examinations and the IRS Collections sides of the IRS, the taxpayer will often have an opportunity and a procedural path to appeal the IRS’s decision before the Independent Office of Appeals. Don’t let the name fool you – while the Independent Office of Appeals is independent from the IRS, they are under the same umbrella and often staffed with former IRS personnel. While Appeals Officers (AOs) and Settlement Officers (SOs) are generally good at being “independent,” they are not always unbiased. The job of an Appeals Officer or Settlement Officer in Appeals is to weigh both the taxpayer’s and IRS’s position to try to reach a settlement or resolution on the examination or collection matter, without the matter having to go to litigation.

It is an Appeals Officer’s job to weigh both sides and also consider any hazards of litigation. Appeals is an important part of the procedural process, and it is often a process that helps protect taxpayer rights, including constitutional collection due process rights. In many instances, a case can be resolved or a settlement can be negotiated with Appeals, thus alleviating the cost and time associated with litigating the matter. Sometimes, depending on the issue and the procedural posture of a case, Appeals may be our best, and perhaps only, shot of resolving a tax issue.

The Appeals forum is best navigated with the help of an experienced Orlando IRS Appeals attorney, like those at Orlando Tax Law. Appeals cases are usually assigned all over the country. Frequently, we are lucky and get the opportunity to present a client’s case before an Appeals or Settlement Officer who we have worked with before. We as attorneys not only need to rely on the facts of a taxpayer’s case and present them in the light most favorable before appeals, but we may need to present and argue the law as well. Appeals is not an opportunity to be taken lightly.

Reaching the Office of Appeals

While there are different paths to take to get to the Office of Appeals, such as a direct appeal from a denial of a request we made to the IRS, we can also work with Independent Office of Appeals in Collections casing by requesting CAP or Collection Appeals Program requests or through Collection Due Process requests. We also frequently work with Appeals in Tax Court Litigation cases. The decision to utilize the Independent Office of Appeals is not only a procedural decision but often a strategic one as well, and should not to be taken lightly. We usually consider all other procedural routes of resolution, but also need to consider costs, client goals, and what is in the best interest of protecting clients’ rights. All of this needs to be considered when crafting a plan for clients.

Call an Orlando IRS Appeals Attorney Right Away

An appeal could represent your best chance for a fair outcome with the IRS. While appeals are often successful, there is still no guarantee that you will get the outcome you desire. Oftentimes there is a need a need to preserve the record in appeals, in the event that a Tax Court case needs to be filed. Putting yourself in the best position to obtain a favorable outcome on appeal starts with hiring the right legal advisor. Contact an Orlando IRS appeals lawyer today.

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