We frequently use the IRS Office of Appeals to resolve issues related to IRS Collection matters.  It is always our goal to resolve cases efficiently and to avoid litigation if an appropriate resolution in the IRS appeals office can satisfy our client.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of Appeals (Appeals) was formed in 1927. Despite numerous changes since its formation, Appeals’ mission has remained the same:

To resolve tax controversies, without litigation, on a basis which is fair and impartial to both the Government and the taxpayer in a manner that will enhance voluntary compliance and public confidence in the integrity and efficiency of the Service.

We appeal many IRS collection actions to the IRS Office of Appeals (Appeals). Appeals is separate from and independent of the IRS Collection office that initiated the collection action. Appeals ensures and protects its independence by adhering to a strict policy of prohibiting certain ex parte communications with the IRS Collection office or other IRS offices, such as discussions regarding the strengths or weaknesses of your case. 

The two main procedures are Collection Due Process and Collection Appeals Program. 

Collection Due Process (CDP) is available if you receive one of the following notices:

  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing and Your Right to a Hearing under IRC 6320
  • Final Notice - Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing
  • Notice of Jeopardy Levy and Right of Appeal
  • Notice of Levy on Your State Tax Refund – Notice of Your Right to a Hearing 
  • Post Levy Collection Due Process (CDP) Notice

Collection Appeals Program (CAP) is available for the following actions:

  • Before or after the IRS files a Notice of Federal Tax Lien
  • Before or after the IRS levies or seizes your property
  • Termination, or proposed termination, of an installment agreement
  • Rejection of an installment agreement
  • Modification, or proposed modification, of an installment agreement

CAP generally results in a quicker Appeals decision and is available for a broader range of collection actions. However, you cannot go to court if you disagree with the CAP decision. CAP procedures are described on pages three and four of this publication. 

Other Collection Determinations that can also be appealed to the IRS Appeals Office include:

  • Rejected Offer in Compromise
  • Rejected Proposed Installment Plan Request
  • Proposed Trust Fund Recovery Penalty
  • Denied Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Claim
  • Denied request to abate penalties (i.e., late payment, late filing, or deposit penalties)
  • Appeals To The Courts
If our client and Appeals don’t agree on some or all of the issues after the Appeals conference, or if our client initially decided to not pursue the appeals system, we may take our client’s case to the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Federal Claims, or your United States District Court, after satisfying certain procedural and jurisdictional requirements for each court.  We routinely represent clients through this entire process.  See our “tax litigation” section for more information.