What Is IRS Collection Appeals?
If you currently have an account that is in collections with the IRS, then you know how frustrating it can be to deal with the barrage of phone calls and mailings that come along with a tax debt. If you’ve been struggling for months or years with a tax debt, it can be incredibly frustrating to deal with a collections agency that threatens to place a lien on your home or garnish your wages. IRS collection appeals may be the answer to your frustrations.
Fortunately, there is something that you can do. The IRS has a Collections Appeals Procedure that was designed to help taxpayers avoid the harsh penalties that can come from dealing with a debt that is in collections and can’t be resolved. Navigating the appeals process, however, can be tricky. Generally, it’s a good idea for a taxpayer who needs to file a collections appeal to seek counsel from a tax resolution firm, such as Samaritan Tax Relief.
What Is Collection Appeals?
When a tax debt goes into collections, the IRS has already determined that the debt is owed to the government. In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate or apply for an installment agreement on the amount owed. Once the IRS has decided how much is owed and how the debt should be paid, however, it often goes into collections.
If payments are not made on time or if more than one payment is missed, the IRS will take steps to recover the money that is owed. This usually means that they will terminate the installment agreement, and seek to recover the funds through other means. These methods can include:
- Filing a tax lien or tax levy on assets such as real estate. This would force the debt to be paid as soon as the asset is sold.
- Wage garnishment
In these cases, however, it is possible to appeal to the IRS to stop these actions. The Collection Appeal Program (CAP) allows taxpayers to negotiate new payment terms on their tax debt. While it is rare for taxpayers to have the debt completely forgiven, it is possible to reach an agreement in which you would pay less every month, or temporarily have collection efforts stop until you are able to resume payments.
How Can I Get A Collection Appeal?
If you’re in a position where you are unable to follow the terms of your installment agreement, or if the IRS is trying to collect a lump sum of money that you cannot pay, then it is possible to file for the Collection Appeal Program, or CAP. The process usually starts with you or your tax relief representative calling the IRS directly and speaking with your Collections Manager or Revenue Officer. In some cases, it is possible to work out an agreement without going through the entire collection appeals process.
If this does not work, then you or your representative needs to file IRS Form 9423, Collection Appeal Request . This form will start the appeals process and refer the case for an appeals hearing.
These hearings tend to be informal and can be held via phone conference in many cases. The hearings also tend to be very quick; most cases are resolved in a single phone call. For this reason, it is highly recommended that taxpayers hire professional representation, such as an Enrolled Agent, that is very familiar with the process. The appeals hearing is the only time that a taxpayer can present evidence that shows why they need a modification to the installment agreement or why they need more time to pay the debt on their own. These records are compared to the IRS’ files on the taxpayer in order to resolve the dispute.
These hearings are the final decision regarding payments to the IRS. Taxpayers do not have the right to sue over a CAP decision in court.
What Can I Get From A Collection Appeal?
The goal of an IRS collection appeal is to work out a new payment agreement with the IRS that avoids consequences such as wage garnishment, tax liens, or tax levies. Depending on the amount of the debt and the taxpayer’s case history, however, it may not always be possible to avoid these outcomes.
Generally, taxpayers who have the means to pay a debt will be ordered to do so by the IRS. If a taxpayer is experiencing a temporary setback, such as a job loss or illness that is preventing a tax payer from earning income, however, it is more likely that the appeals process will grant him or her a modification to their installment agreement or extra time to come up with the money to pay the debt by going into currently not collectible status.
What Happens If I lose The Appeal?
If you lose your collections appeal, the IRS has the right to use other means to recover the money that is owed to the federal government. This can include a wage garnishment and placing tax liens or tax levies on assets owned by the taxpayer.
Samaritan Tax Relief Collection Appeals Representation
One of your most important rights as a taxpayer is your right to have a qualified tax resolution professional, such as an Enrolled Agent (EA), represent you in front of the IRS Office of Appeals with your collection appeal.
When you hire Samaritan Tax Relief to assist you with your IRS collections appeal, we will guide you through the process while advocating on your behalf and protecting your interests.
Samaritan Tax Relief is here to help you because when you’re dealing with a bad tax audit, the worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all and be taken advantage of. The best decision is to take the necessary first step and to try to obtain some tax debt relief by filing an IRS collection appeal!
Click on the “Get Help” button at the top of the page to take that first step.