Appeal an IRS Installment Agreement

Taxpayer Rights To Appeal An IRS Installment Agreement

appeal an irs installment agreementIf you request an Installment Agreement and the IRS rejects it, you have the right to appeal. Furthermore, as long as you appeal within 30 days, the IRS cannot levy your property or garnish your wages. The IRS cannot take any serious action until the appeal is complete.

If you are paying an Installment Agreement and the IRS terminates the agreement, you can also appeal. Fortunately, you have 76 days to appeal, but you should try to appeal within 30 days.

How to Appeal a Rejected IRS Installment Agreement

If the IRS rejects your Installment Agreement, a Revenue Officer may contact you directly. In other cases, you may receive a letter or phone call that is not from a Revenue Officer. Here’s how to appeal in both situations.

If the IRS notified you but a Revenue Officer is not involved, here’s what to do:

  1. Call the IRS using the phone number on your letter.
  2. Tell the IRS why your Installment Agreement should be accepted.
  3. If the agent refuses your request, ask to speak with a Revenue Officer or a manager.
  4. If they are not willing to work with you, say you would like to appeal.
  5. Move to step 3 below.

If an IRS Revenue Officer notified you of your rejection, here’s how to appeal:

  1. Call the phone number on your notice and explain why you want to appeal the decision.
  2. If the Revenue Officer still refuses to accept your Installment Agreement, ask to speak to their manager.
  3. If you have no success with the Revenue Officer’s manager, ask to speak to a Collections Manager.
  4. Explain your case to the Collections Manager.
  5. Fill out Form 9423 (Collection Appeal Request).
  6. Attach a written explanation of your appeal with Form 9423.
  7. Send in Form 9423, postmarked at least 30 days within the date on rejection letter.
  8. Wait for the decision.

The decision on your appeal is binding. If the Office of Appeals rejects your appeal, you cannot appeal again. To improve the chances of your appeal being accepted, you should work with a tax professional.

Common Reasons for the Rejection of an IRS Installment Agreement

The most common reasons for Installment Agreement rejections:

    1. You didn’t complete Form 433 (Collection Information Statement)
    2. The IRS believes your living expenses are too high—for example, the IRS may reject a plan if you have kids in private school, really high car payments, or other “unnecessary” expenses.
    3. Form 433 was inaccurate or incomplete.
    4. You defaulted on installment agreements in the past.
    5. You have outstanding past tax returns.

How to Appeal the Termination of an Installment Agreement or Reinstate It

If the IRS plans to cancel your Installment Agreement, you will receive a termination notice in the mail. Usually, this is a CP 523 notice. It notes the reason for the termination, and it tells you the IRS plans to levy your assets.

You have 76 days to request an appeal. However, if you don’t appeal by the 30th day (after the notice was issued), the agreement will be terminated on the 46th day. Moreover, if you appeal after that point, the agreement will be reinstated if your appeal is accepted.

Generally, you can only appeal a termination notice once in a 76-day period. It’s important not to let your agreement lapse twice in that short of a time period.

If an IRS Revenue Officer notified you of the termination, here’s how to appeal:

  1. Call the IRS number on your notice and tell them why you want to appeal the termination. Make sure to call within 30 days at best or 76 days at worst.
  2. If the IRS Revenue Officer refuses to reinstate your Installment Agreement, speak to their manager.
  3. If you have no success with the Revenue Officer’s manager, ask to speak to a Collections Manager.
  4. Talk to your Collections Manager and explain your case.

If your rejection letter came in writing, here’s how to appeal:

  1. Complete Form 9423 (Collection Appeal Request).
  2. Preferably attach a written letter of your request for appeal with Form 9423
  3. Send in Form 9423, postmarked at least 30 days within the date on your CP 523 notice.

Common Reasons for the Termination of an IRS Installment Agreement

An IRS Installment Agreement termination happens for a few reasons:

  1. You missed a payment. The IRS waits 30 days before terminating your agreement if it is only your first or second missed payment.
  2. The IRS realized information on your Form 433 was incorrect or untruthful
  3. You failed to file a current return.
  4. You didn’t pay a current tax bill.

If you need to appeal a denial or termination of an Installment Agreement, understand that this process is not straight forward. As a result, many taxpayers choose to work with a licensed tax professional. Form 433 (Collection Information Statement) and Form 9423 (Collection Appeal Request) can be confusing.

Ideally, you should work with someone who does this regularly for taxpayers. You need a professional who has the experience and track record of getting most requests and appeals accepted.