You have the legal right to appeal if your innocent spouse relief was rejected. The IRS preliminary decision is sent via writing to deny your innocent spouse request. It is usually named as IRS letter 3016. There are several options you can take to appeal this decision though they are quite time sensitive. The first thing to note is that an appeal must be filed within 30 days upon receipt of the letter. In the letter of appeal, you should state the reason why you are contesting the decision of the IRS. You can also include additional information which was previously not captured in the Innocent Spouse Relief Form 8857 to back up your case.
Please note that you lose the right to appeal if you exceed the 30-day ultimatum before filing for an appeal.
You can still write a petition to the Tax Court. Before then, you will need to await the Final letter of determination of your case which the IRS will send. Then, you will be given a time frame of 90 days to petition the Tax Court.
With this, your case will be scheduled for hearing and previous information submitted to the IRS will be reviewed from the beginning. Based on this premise, the court will make an independent decision on whether the petitioner should be granted innocent spouse relief or not. The earlier decision by the IRS is not put into consideration when making their independent decision.
There are other options you can explore to resolve your innocent spouse denial case. You may have the chance to appeal even before your case gets to the Tax Court. After your petition has been filed with the Tax Court, you will be issued a standing notice of pre-trial to notify you of the possible contact from the IRS Appeals Office. This is done with the aim of settling the case with the IRS before it gets to Tax Court.
Statistics show that about 90% of innocent spouse denial cases are settled before they ever reach Tax Court. The standing pre-trial notice also furnishes you with extra information such as how to prepare for trial.
If the case is not settled with the IRS before getting to the Tax Court, it could take a while before your case is heard. The long wait is due to the nature of the court as it’s a travelling court. The time your case will be heard is dependent on the time they will be visiting your area and the number of the case scheduled for that time. If you happen to win the case against the IRS, you can ask the court to compel the IRS to reimburse you for your legal expenses.
You also need to be wary of the fact that the IRS will keep adding interests to the money owed. Therefore, if you lose your appeal in the tax court, you may eventually have to pay all the accrued interest. You will need to consult an experienced legal practitioner to guide you on the right step to take before filing for innocent spouse denial appeal.
If you or someone you know thinks that he/she is eligible for a claim of Innocent Spouse Relief or any other Tax Liability issue now would be a great time to come in and let us help you resolve the issue. I can be contacted at (212) 320-8191 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urgent Tax Services
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Brooklyn, NY 11204
Ph. (212) 320-8191
Fax (646) 626-6447