Skip to main content

Jurisdiction of the IRS Appeals Offices

Each region of the United States has specific IRS offices, and within each IRS region are special IRS Appeals Offices. As a general matter, the Tax Appeals offices have jurisdiction over income, estate, gift, employment, and certain excise taxes. The Appeals offices also have the power to assess additions to tax, including additional amounts, penalties, and interest. The jurisdiction of the Appeals office only applies once the taxpayer has filed a protest requesting consideration by Appeals.

Jurisdiction of the Appeals Office over Non-Docketed Cases

Non-docketed cases are cases which are not currently pending at the level of the Tax Court. There are two types of non-docketed cases: Pre-90-Day Cases and 90-Day Cases.

A Pre-90-Day Case refers to a tax situation in which the taxpayer has not yet received a Notice of Deficiency from the IRS. In these cases, the taxpayer will have received a 30-day letter from the District office at the conclusion of the IRS audit. Once the taxpayer files a protest with the Appeals office in response to the 30-Day Letter, the Appeals Office has exclusive and final settlement authority over the case. However, even though the Appeals Office has exclusive jurisdiction over the case, it may decide not to exercise that jurisdiction if it determines through preliminary review that the case requires additional consideration or evaluation.

A 90-Day Case is one in which the taxpayer has received a Notice of Deficiency, or 90-Day Letter, from the IRS District Office. A taxpayer who receives a Notice of Deficiency generally has 90 days to file a petition with the Tax Court. During this time period, the Appeals Office typically does not consider or reconsider cases in the absence of extenuating circumstances. However, during the 90-day time period, the taxpayer has the additional option of filing a protest with the Appeals Office. If the taxpayer makes this election and the Appeals Office decides to evaluate the case, the Appeals Office must give the final determination to the taxpayer at least 15 days before the expiration of the 90-day time period to file a petition in Tax Court. It is important to note that filing a belated petition for Appeals in the middle of the 90-day period will not extend the time the taxpayer has to file a petition in Tax Court. The taxpayer still must file a petition in Tax Court within 90 days of receiving the Notice of Deficiency, even if an Appeals process takes place during that time.

Jurisdiction of the Appeals Officer over Docketed Cases

Docketed cases are cases which are currently pending in the Tax Court. The Appeals Office has the authority to represent the regional IRS commission in his or her authority to settle docketed cases. However, the Appeals Office does not have the same settlement authority for cases in which the Notice of Deficiency was issued to the taxpayer by the Appeals Office itself. In those cases, the settlement authority over the case transfers to the District Counsel.

Jurisdiction over Claim for Refund and Over-Assessment Cases

The Appeals Office is granted the authority to decide cases in which the taxpayer makes a claim for a refund concerning income tax, estate tax, gift tax, and certain excise taxes. The jurisdiction of the Appeals Office also applies when the taxpayer claims that he or she was over-assessed by the IRS for income taxes, estate and gift taxes, and certain excise taxes. However, the jurisdiction of the Appeals Office ends once the taxpayer files a suit for refund or over-assessment. Once the lawsuit is filed, the jurisdiction over the matter transfers to the Department of Justice.

Jurisdiction of the Appeals Office over Jeopardy and Termination Assessment Cases

When the IRS takes the drastic step of issuing a jeopardy or termination assessment against a taxpayer, the IRS has the obligation to inform the taxpayer in writing of the reasons for the assessment within five days of when the assessment took place. Once the taxpayer receives the written explanation from the IRS, the taxpayer has the right to appeal the assessment to the Appeals Office, but he or she must do so within 30 days. If the Appeals Office receives a protest of a jeopardy or termination assessment, Appeals must consider the protest in an expedited fashion. In determining whether the jeopardy or termination assessment was proper, the Appeals Office will generally consider two important factors: 1) whether the assessment or levy was reasonable under the circumstances; and 2) whether the amount assessed was reasonable under the circumstances.

A Tax Attorney Can Help with IRS Appeals

At the appeals stage, the IRS Appeals Agents are even more sophisticated and knowledgeable than IRS Revenue Agents. In order to achieve a favorable results on appeal, you must be able to make your case in an organized and thorough manner. An experienced tax attorney can present your case in the most convincing manner, using evidence as well as legal authority and analysis. If you have received information from the IRS documenting your right to appeal, call today for a free consultation.

The Tax Lawyer - William D Hartsock has been successfully helping clients navigate the IRS appeals process since the early 1980's. Mr. Hartsock offers free consultations with the full benefit and protections of attorney client privilege to help people clearly understand their situation and options based on the circumstances of their case. To schedule your free consultation simply fill out the contact form found on this page, or call (858)481-4844.

Share this post

Comments (0)

The Tax Lawyer - William D. Hartsock, Esq. – San Diego Tax Attorney

Author: William D. Hartsock, Esq

A "Certified Tax Law Specialist" for over 37 years, Mr. Hartsock is one of the most trusted and respected tax attorneys in Southern California. Call today to discuss the facts of your case and learn about your options. Mr. Hartsock offers free consultations and all conversations are protected under attorney-client privilege; meaning that no information shared with a tax attorney will be shared with the IRS or California Franchise Tax Board.