Although almost everyone is required to pay federal income tax, it may be possible to dispute the amount owed. For example, one might contest the results of an audit. In the event that the IRS proposes changes to a tax return, a taxpayer may protest the decision and attach additional information substantiating the taxpayer's position.
Typically, a taxpayer has 30 days to protest any findings by the IRS. If the appeal is received in a timely manner, it will be sent to the IRS Appeals Division where it will most likely be resolved. Although appeals are heard in offices throughout the country, it is often possible to have a case heard at an office near the taxpayer or where the taxpayer's lawyer is located.
If the case is not resolved during an appeal, the IRS will send a formal Notice of Deficiency. Taxpayers have 90 days to respond to the notice, and the only response is to appeal to the U.S Tax Court. After an appeal to the U.S Tax Court is made, the case will either go to trial or be sent back to Appeals Division where it may be resolved outside of court.
Those who are facing a potential audit may wish to contact a tax attorney. An attorney may be able to help an individual avoid wage garnishment or a lien on assets such as a home or car. The government may also be able to seize bank accounts or take other drastic steps until any outstanding tax balance has been paid in full. However, an attorney may be able to negotiate with the government or take steps to establish that a taxpayer does not owe any additional money to the IRS.