Is IRS Appeals Right for You?
At M&M Financial we’ve been helping businesses and individuals resolve tax debts since 2005. We’ve helped hundreds of regular people put their tax debts behind them and move on with their lives. Every month we send out proposals to interested taxpayers all over the country that we’re confident we can help. Some of them become clients and some of them don’t for various reasons and we can live with that. What we have a difficult time with is when someone in need of honest help hires a company that makes false promises or has them going in the wrong direction right out of the gate.
Stay of Collection, Guaranteed Penalty Abatement, Inside IRS Relationships...
A common way for salesman in the tax resolution industry to hook an unsuspecting customer is to promise an “Appeal” as the first step. First of all, no one should be promising anything as far as your tax resolution is concerned, especially without having detailed knowledge of your tax delinquencies, your financial situation and the stage of your debt in the collection process. “Appeal” in this context is simply a buzz word to get your attention, when in reality; an Appeal may or may not benefit you. But one thing is for sure, it is likely to cost you a lot of money.
Here are a couple of things you should know about IRS Appeals.
- An IRS Appeal will extend the IRS Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED). The CSED is the final date the IRS can collect the tax owed. The standard collection time is 10 years. If you file an Appeal, the time ticking away on those 10 years stops for a while. Typically, we want the 10 year collection statute to go by as quickly as possible.
- IRS Appeals can be very lengthy and work intensive. This translates to more fees to you, the taxpayer. If the representative you’ve hired to resolve your tax debt charges by the hour, an IRS Appeal could cost you big money. Many Appeals can take 6 months or more to resolve. Even worse, some companies that promise a flat fee actually charge hourly according to the fine print in their contracts. Beware!
- IRS Appeals resolves disputes between a taxpayer and the IRS without going through litigation. Some Appeals offer an option to go to court if the dispute is not settled. Some Appeals do not. Tax Court is not a place most of us want to be. Additionally, most IRS disputes are offered one chance to Appeal. If the Appeal is lost, the case goes back to the original IRS collector. With that said, filing an IRS Appeal without first doing everything possible to work out a resolution with the IRS Revenue Officer and her manager would be foolish. If you come back to the Revenue Officer after losing your Appeal, typically that Revenue Officer holds a lot more power than she did prior to the Appeal. Lesson – don’t waste your Appeal.