My IRS dispute is going into litigation. What are my options?

When individual or business taxpayers have civil disputes with the IRS, the first steps toward resolution are taken with the IRS directly. The ultimate result, however, may be a decision by the agency that the taxpayer believes is incorrect or unjust.

If this has happened to you, you may be stuck with a large tax bill that you don't believe you owe. If you haven't obtained legal counsel, now is the time to get skillful and knowledgeable representation.

In our experience, the best way to obtain a favorable outcome in IRS disputes is to perform an in-depth investigation and resolve the issues through direct negotiation with the agency -- generally the sooner the better.

Once you've reached an impasse with the IRS, your next step may be an appeal through the federal courts. Depending on your circumstances, however, there are four different courts that may potentially hear your claim, and you may have the option to make a strategic choice about which court is most favorable.

Civil tax litigation with the IRS can be conducted in any of the following four courts:

  • The U.S. Tax Court: This is the most common court for taxpayer appeals, and the judges have special expertise in federal tax law. One big benefit is that you don't have to pay the disputed taxes before trial. 
  • The U.S. District Courts: If you've exhausted all of the IRS's administrative remedies, you can sue the IRS for a refund in the federal trial court where you live. One big benefit here is you can get a jury trial. 
  • The U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Filing Chapter 7, 11 or 13 bankruptcy gives the Bankruptcy Court the discretion to determine whether your tax assessment or an IRS tax lien is valid -- and to discharge certain older tax liabilities. 
  • The U.S. Court of Federal Claims: This Washington, DC, court was set up for lawsuits against the government. You can sue for a refund like you can in the federal district courts.

Every tax problem has a solution. No matter which court is most favorable in your case, Frost & Associates is here to arm you with the facts, protect your rights and do all we can to achieve an advantageous resolution on your behalf. 

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