Taxpayers have a right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum. It is #5 on the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights coded into law in 2015.
The IRS Commissioner must ensure that all agents are familiar with and act under this right. That responsibility was encoded into law with the 2015 passage of this list of rights.
What Does This Mean for You, the Taxpayer?
The IRS has established the IRS Office of Appeals to handle taxpayer appeals. In fact, there are many such offices in all parts of the country. When a taxpayer appeals an IRS decision, the appeal goes to a separate office. There are limitations on communications between the Appeals Office and the rest of the IRS to protect the independence of the process.
If a taxpayer is not happy with the decision of the appeal, they can contact the Taxpayer Advocate for help. If the Taxpayer Advocate cannot or will not help, the next step is to take the tax decision appeal to federal court.
Another option for appeal, in some cases, is the United States Tax Court. The Tax Court often hear appeals in regards to an IRS issuance of a Statutory Notice of Deficiency where the IRS wants to collect more taxes.
If you are due a tax refund and the IRS denies it or fails to send it, you can file a refund suit in the US District Court or the US Court of Federal Claims. You must start that suit within two years.
If a taxpayer believes they suffered discrimination at the hands of an IRS agent, they can file a written complaint with the IRS Civil Rights Division. Taxpayers can claim discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, religion and parental status.