Many taxpayers are under the impression they can request a fair and impartial
hearing before an independent judicial officer who will understand their
problems, and thereby stop the Revenue Officer from seizing their wages,
automobiles, bank accounts and other property. Wrong! Forget
everything you have seen on Court TV
this is the IRS.
The IRS continues to state that taxpayers are guaranteed a fair and impartial
hearing conducted by a disinterested party. But, all you really get is a
Revenue Officer who has been promoted to the Appeals Office. There is no
so-called independent person conducting a hearing to ensure fairness,
accuracy, or anything else. The Appeals Officer (i.e. Revenue
Officer) is sitting in front of you with a 3-5 inch file that contains all of
your violations and he wants you to pay the tax. The burden is on you
to show how you are going to resolve your tax problem(s). The Appeals
Officer is under no obligation to research your case and help you find a way
out of your mess!
you believe you have a financial solution to resolve your tax problems, the
Appeals Office is the right place to present your proposal. At a minimum, you
will need to research and catalog all the facts and then select only the exact
facts that affect your case. You must analyze and present both sides of your
case. You must prepare your rebuttal with proper footnotes and exhibits.
Finally you must prepare your summation of tax law that supports the solution
to your problem. Generally speaking, a well-written proposal will be accepted
by the IRS. But you have to do all the work!
Confessions of a Former IRS Appeals Officer
The title IRS Appeals Officer sounds great and we get a little more money, a
nicer desk, and a little more respect. But the problem is
― 60% of our cases don't require the expertise of an Appeals Officer.
Most of our cases should have been handled at the field agent/group manager
level. And guess what? If you entered my office unprepared, without a
well-written proposal, I would have rejected your frivolous appeal and would
send your case right back to the field, where it belongs.
Federal tax law and Internal
Revenue Manual (IRM) procedures are esoteric and mercurial by nature and most
people refer to them as a foreign language. If your representative is not
actively involved in "IRS Practice" you will have committed the fatal error of
wasting my time and you will have achieved nothing more than a temporary delay
in the seizure of your assets. The best-kept secret for all taxpayers is
― hire an accountant, lawyer or an enrolled agent that is actively
involved in "IRS Practice" and, by all means, a preference should be given to
former IRS Agents.
To make the Appeals Office work
for you, your representative must prepare a proposal that clearly demonstrates
how you plan to resolve your tax problems in accordance with IRM guidelines.
Furthermore, all good proposals must anticipate and address the routine
challenges that may be raised by me and the IRS review staff. The key
element in successful negotiations with an Appeals Officer is your
representative's noble effort to prevent the Appeals Officer from having to
engage in any additional work. Mental or Physical!
*** Conclusion ***
The IRS Appeals Office is your
last chance to present your plan of action to resolve your
tax problems based on your evidence and your
application of the law. If you treat this one-time opportunity
lightly, you do so at your own peril.