In cases where you do not agree with the decision of a hearing officer regarding your financial obligations or any other financial matters, you can go to the appeals officer in accounting to seek justice. The first question that most people would ask is who an appeals officer actually is. Read on to learn how to file an appeal and what the role of an appeals officer in the appeal process.

Who is an Appeals Officer?

According to the IRS, this is a professional who presides in conferences arranged to settle cases where a tax payer contests their tax obligations. The appeals office is a branch of the IRS and is the only place for addressing appeals. Conferences for settling cases can be conducted through phone communication with the tax payer, through correspondence or in person. A tax payer relies on the appeals officer to get a better ruling than the one handed down by IRS. The appeals agent acts as a mediator between the taxpayer and IRS. The appeals agent has the power to make a final ruling on the final settlement.

Appeals Process

The first step of appealing against a ruling by IRS is to file a formal written protest or small case request with the person you have named in the letter.

When filing a formal protest, the following information should be included in the protest:

  • A statement indicating that the tax payer intends to appeal the decision of the IRS to the appeals office
  • One copy of the proposed tax adjustment letter
  • The tax payer’s full names, address and contact number
  • The tax periods involved
  • The decisions that the taxpayer is against and their reason for disagreement
  • The justification of the tax payer’s position on the issue that they disagree with
  • The authority or law that the tax payer is basing his justification upon
  • The tax payer should sign the protest, affirming that the statements made are true and subject to the penalty of perjury

In case the representative of the tax payer signs the protest on behalf of the tax payer, he/she has to submit a declaration that states:

  • He/she prepared and submitted the protest together with the other documents
  • He/she knows that the statements made in the protest are true and the accompanying documents are correct

In order to file a small case request to the appeals officer in accounting, the total figure for tax, interest and penalties for every tax period involved should amount to $25,000 or less. In cases that involve several tax periods and one of them exceeds the threshold of $25,000, a formal protest should be filed for all the periods involved.

When filing a small case request, a short written statement should be sent requesting for an appeals conference. The letter should also state the changes that the tax payer disagrees with and their reasons for disagreeing. The tax payer should send the letter within 30 days.

After a conference is requested, the request letter is sent to the appeals officer in accounting so that he/she may determine a suitable time and place to hold the conference. Most of the disputes are usually settled at this conference. Only certified public accountants, attorneys or enrolled agents can represent the taxpayer before appeals.

Related Resource: Tax Specialist

Whenever you have a dispute with the IRS regarding your taxes it is best to seek an alternative ruling from the appeals officer in accounting. The appeal process is easy and with the help of an attorney you can easily get a fair judgment.