You may appeal many IRS collection actions to the IRS Office of Appeals (Appeals). The Office of Appeals is separate from and independent of the IRS Collection office that initiated the collection action. We ensure and protect our independence by adhering to a strict policy of no ex parte communication with the IRS Collection office about the accuracy of the facts or the merits of your case without providing you an opportunity to participate at that meeting. The two main procedures are Collection Due Process and Collection Appeals Program.
Collection Due Process (CDP) is available if you receive one of the following notices:
• Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing and Your Right to a Hearing under IRC 6320
• Final Notice - Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing
• Notice of Jeopardy Levy and Right of Appeal
• Notice of Levy on Your State Tax Refund – Notice of Your Right to a Hearing
• Notice of Levy and Notice of Right to a Hearing with respect to a Disqualified Employment Tax Levy
Collection Appeals Program (CAP) is available for the following actions:
• Before or after the IRS files a Notice of Federal Tax Lien
• Before or after the IRS levies or seizes your property
• Termination, or proposed termination, of an installment agreement
• Rejection of an installment agreement
CAP is generally quicker and is available for a broader range of collection actions. However, you cannot go to court if you disagree with the CAP decision. You may represent yourself at CDP, CAP and other Appeals proceedings. Or, you may be represented by an attorney, certified public accountant, or a person enrolled to practice before the IRS. Also, you may be represented by a member of your immediate family, or in the case of a business, by regular full-time employees, general partners or bona fide officers.
HEARING AVAILABLE UNDER COLLECTION DUE PROCESS (CDP) For Lien and Levy Notices
By law, you have the right to a CDP hearing by Appeals for these collection actions:
• The first time a Notice of Federal Tax Lien is filed for a tax and period.
• Before the first levy on your property for a tax and period.
• After levy on your state tax refund.
• After levy when collection is in jeopardy
You may contest the CDP determination in the United States Tax Court.
Lien Notice: The IRS is required to notify you the first time a Notice of Federal Tax Lien is filed for each tax and period. The IRS must notify you within 5 business days after the lien filing. This notice may be mailed, given to you, or left at your home or office. You then have 30 days, after that 5-day period, to request a hearing with Appeals. The lien notice you receive will indicate the date this 30-day period expires.
Levy Notice: For each tax and period, the IRS is required to notify you the first time it intends to collect a tax liability by taking your property or rights to property. The IRS does this by issuing you a levy notice. The IRS can’t levy or seize your property within 30 days from the date this notice is mailed, given to you, or left at your home or office. During that 30-day period, you may request a hearing with Appeals. There are three exceptions to issuing this notice before levy:
1. When collection of the tax is in jeopardy.
2. When IRS levies your state tax refund.
3. When the criteria for a Disqualified Employment Tax Levy is met.
You may request a hearing after the levy action in these instances. If your request for a CDP hearing is not timely, you may request an equivalent hearing. To receive an equivalent hearing, your request must be postmarked on or before the end of the one-year period after the date of the levy notice or on or before the end of the one-year period plus 5 business days after the filing date of the Notice of Federal Tax Lien.
HEARING AVAILABLE UNDER COLLECTION APPEALS PROGRAM (CAP) For Liens, Levies, Seizures and Installment Agreements
The CAP procedure is available under more circumstances than Collection Due Process (CDP). Unlike CDP, you may not challenge in CAP the existence or amount of your tax liability. You also cannot proceed to court if you don’t agree with Appeals’ decision in your CAP case. Collection actions you may appeal under CAP are:
Notice of Federal Tax Lien: You may appeal the proposed filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) or the actual filing of an NFTL at the first and each subsequent filing of the NFTL. You are entitled to a CDP hearing after the first filing of an NFTL. See the preceding information regarding Hearing Available under Collection Due Process. You may also appeal denied requests to withdraw a NFTL, and denied discharges, subordinations, and non-attachments of a lien.
Notice of Levy: You may appeal before or after the IRS places a levy on your wages, bank account or other property. You may also have additional CDP appeal rights. See the preceding information regarding Hearing Available under Collection Due Process. Once the levy proceeds have been sent to the IRS, you may also appeal the denial by the IRS of your request to have levied property returned to you.
Seizure of Property: You may appeal before or after the IRS makes a seizure but before the property is sold.
Rejection or Termination of Installment Agreement: You may appeal when the IRS rejects your request for an installment agreement. You may also appeal when the IRS proposes to terminate or terminates your installment agreement.