If you have ever been a victim of IRS lien or levy action you know first hand that it can be unilaterally devastating on many levels and take literally years if not decades to financially overcome. To add insult to injury it gets all the more complicated when the IRS action is taken before you’ve had the opportunity to exercise your legal appeal rights. The only thing worse in my opinion is when the action is incorrectly taken without proper authority or basis AND the appeal effort is mishandled to boot. For the record this happens quite frequently for a wide variety of reasons.
The US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is required by law to determine whether the IRS complied with the provisions of 26 United States Code Sections 6320(b) and (c) and 6330(b) and (c) when taxpayers exercise their rights to appeal the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien or the issuance of a Notice of Intent to Levy. According to a report issued in September by TIGTA additional improvements are STILL needed to ensure that statutory requirements are met by IRS’ Collection Due Process (CDP) Program.
The CDP program was designed to allow taxpayers a process for exercising their right to appeal when the IRS files a lien or a Notice of Intent to Levy. The programs ongoing problems include:
1. Misclassified hearing requests
2. Inaccurate collection action suspensions
3. Inconsistent documentation of impartiality resulting in taxpayers not receiving their full rights during an Appeals hearing.
Unfortunately THESE ARE THE SAME DEFICIENCIES AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED.
What specifically concerns me and should concern you is:
1. The Office of Appeals did not always classify taxpayer requests properly
2. Some taxpayers received the wrong type of hearing
3. Errors continued relating to the determination of the Collection Statute Expiration Date on taxpayer accounts
4. Appeals personnel did not always document their impartiality statement in hearing notification letters issued to taxpayers.
5. Delays in the initial processing of requests for hearings prior to receipt by Office of Appeals personnel as some taxpayer requests for a hearing took over 90 days to reach Office of Appeals personnel from the Compliance function, which could have affected the taxpayer’s due process rights.
TIGTA recommended that the IRS Appeals Chief correct the taxpayer accounts that were identified with Collection Statute Expiration Date errors. The IRS generally agreed to do the best they can under the circumstances.
This ‘non-response response’ by the IRS is specifically one of many reasons why you should seriously consider hiring the services of an Enrolled Agent to represent you in collection disputes with the IRS. The system doesn’t work as intended by statute, the Inspector General responsible for monitoring the system reports repeated failures AGAIN AND the IRS really lacks the resources needed to be effective in correcting their problems.