Steps To Take If You Believe The IRS Made A Mistake

It happens far more often than you think. Many people believe the IRS is some infallible organization whose word is incontestable, but the truth of the matter is the IRS can and does make mistakes too. These mistakes can range from miscalculations on penalties or assessments to clerical and filing errors that could mistakenly cost you thousands.

Even worse, once pen hits paper and a number is written, the IRS takes it as law. For the most part they will not question whether they themselves could have made a mistake which can make it very difficult for you to fight to have the IRS-made error fixed.

As a taxpayer, you are entitled to certain rights that were explicitely compiled by the IRS in 2014 into a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. They are as follows:

  1. The Right to Be Informed
  2. The Right to Quality Service
  3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
  4. The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
  5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
  6. The Right to Finality
  7. The Right to Privacy
  8. The Right to Confidentiality
  9. The Right to Retain Representation
  10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

If you believe the IRS has made a mistake on your audit or violated any of the above rights, you can follow the steps below to take action.

Don’t Assume the IRS is Correct

The first step to making sure you don’t become a victim of an IRS error is to never assume that the IRS did everything correctly. You should have a professional like a tax attorney fact-check the IRS audit and make sure all calculations and decisions were correctly made. The IRS does make mistakes, but you won’t catch them if you don’t look for them.

Call or Visit the IRS

Fixing the mistake could be as simple as calling the IRS and explaining the problem, or visiting a taxpayer assistance center near you to discuss the issue. The toll free business help line for the IRS is 800-829-4933 and you can call between 7AM and 7PM. However, unless the error is very simple and obvious we do recommend you visit a tax professional before dealing with the IRS directly yourself.

Utilize the Taxpayer Advocate Service

The IRS has an independent entity that operates within it to act as “your voice at the IRS.” The service is free of charge and can help you work to resolve any perceived mistakes that were made by the IRS during your audit.

File an Appeal

This can be a time-consuming process, but if you believe the IRS was incorrect in its assessment, you can file an appeal of your case which can be handled over the phone or in person. For this you will likely want to have an experienced tax attorney defending your interests since it can be a very involved and in-depth process.

Go to Court

If you’ve exhausted your other measures but you are still certain that the IRS made a mistake in its audit, you can take them to court. Once again, you will likely want representation at this point from an experienced tax attorney who knows how the process works.

If you believe the IRS has made a mistake on your audit, call Morgan Maxwell to discuss your options and let us fight to defend your tax rights.

Written by E. Morgan Maxwell

E. Morgan Maxwell

Since beginning his own firm, Mr. Maxwell has continued a tax-law oriented practice encompassing a wide range of transactions, planning and dispute resolution. His dispute resolution experience includes involvement at all levels of the Internal Revenue Service (Examinations, Appeals, Collections, Office of Professional Responsibility, the U.S. Tax Court), the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, the Tax Litigation Section of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Common Pleas Court and local taxing jurisdictions in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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