If you decide to make an appeal to the IRS on your own there are some tips that you need to know. This article will deal solely with how to prepare a protest in the event you need to appeal some decision made by the IRS.
Success In Filing a Tax Protest
A protest should be a document that is presented to the IRS which contains all the facts, documents and any other supporting article that can persuade the IRS to view the taxpayer in a more favorable way. This protest should be drafted in a way that will maximize things that favor the taxpayer and minimize things that do not favor the taxpayer. The importance of putting together a protest is to help the IRS see the taxpayer in a different and ultimately more favorable way.
Make sure to be realistic about writing a protest because it can be very time consuming. You will need to research your specific problem in the tax law and then interpret it to the IRS correctly. Interpreting tax law can be a very daunting task if you are not familiar with it. Seemingly simple problems can turn into complex jargon very quickly and this is why it is very important to take your time and understand the law when drafting your proposed protest.
It is important to remember that the Appeals Officer is going to have limited knowledge of your case when you decide to make a protest. Make sure that you research how the IRS examiner put your case together in the first place because it is possible that they misinterpreted the law. It can happen where an examiner puts a case together against the taxpayer and did not do their homework thoroughly enough.
Below I will list the important points to remember when drafting your protest :
Gather all the facts in the case
The first thing you want to keep in mind when drafting your protest is to write in a that presents all the facts of the case in a truthful manner but at the same time would convince the court to view the taxpayer in a favorable and sympathetic way. You want to write in a very clear and concise way to present the case in the best way possible. It is very important that after you have finished drafting your protest that you go back and review it against the tax laws that apply to it. Make sure that you have presented your case in favor of yourself but at the same time laid out everything in accordance with the law.
Bring to light any problems in their procedures
After you present your case against the IRS you may choose to present an analysis of how your case was handled by the examiner within the IRS. If you were able to find any weaknesses in the examiner’s report of your case then this is the time to present them. These weaknesses can include misinterpretation of the law, the logic used by the examiner and any procedures used that were not conducted correctly. The purpose of this is to show the IRS that you have a strong case and avoid going to court.
Leave no argument out
All your arguments should be made to the IRS no matter how small you believe them to be. This is because even if you believe them to be not important it is very possible that the IRS will view them in a completely different way.
Show cases that favor your case
You should present all previous cases that have taken place to the IRS that will be favorable to you. These can include revenue rulings, revenue procedures and tax law cases that dealt with a subject manner close to yours and will make your case more favorable for settlement.
Show all relevant cases, good and bad
Do not hide cases that have taken place and had outcomes that make your own case unfavorable. Make sure that you discuss these cases with the IRS and distinguish your individual case from them; you want to gain credibility with the IRS in every possible instance.
The devil is in the details
Make sure that you are as detailed as possible when drafting your case. The burden of proof is on you to prove to the IRS that you are entitled to a settlement. If you cannot provide detailed answers to all of the issues brought up by the IRS then they will have little incentive to provide a settlement to you.
Shift the burden of proof
If possible, you can actually shift the burden of proof to the IRS by providing all the facts in the case. Remember that the burden of proof cannot shift until you go to court but if you are able to show the IRS that it is possible, the Appeals Officer will review the case and may side with you instead of going to court.
Present an affidavit
You can use affidavits to persuade the IRS in your favor by showing them that you are very serious about the case. If you can show that you are able to prove the facts of the case in your favor the Appeals Office will be forced to review the case in a way that is favorable to the taxpayer. Keep in mind that if you submit an affidavit you are going to have to sign it under penalties of perjury.
Submitting a protest to the IRS is a very lengthy process depending on the size and scope of your case. Do not under estimate the amount of time it will take you to research the tax law relevant to your case, put your research in writing and then practice presenting your case to the IRS. Remember the most important part is to take your time and do a thorough investigation into your case.