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Collection Appeals Program (CAP) & Collection Due Process Hearing (CDP)

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Knowing when and how to appeal, both with the IRS and state taxing authorities, can sometimes mean the difference between a phenomenal result and disaster.  When it comes to appeals, there is simply no substitute for having an experienced tax resolution attorney at your side. Our tax attorneys have extensive experience utilizing all available avenues of appeal within the IRS Collection Division and, in certain cases, can take advantage of the appeals system to effectuate life-changing results.

Collection Due Process/Equivalent Hearing Appeals

Collection Due Process (“CDP”) Appeals—derived from the constitutional right to due process–are among the most powerful appeals available to taxpayers who are in collections with the IRS.Benefits of a timely and properly filed CDP:
  • With few exceptions, the IRS may not levy a taxpayer on delinquent taxes that were included in the appeal while the appeal is pending and for 30 days subsequent to the issuance of an unfavorable determination letter.  This can effectively prevent the IRS from levying for 5-8 months or longer.
  • At the CDP hearing, a Settlement Officer has broad authority to approve a variety of different tax resolution programs.
  • It “takes the case away” from the existing collection officer or ACS, which can be extremely helpful if that person is unreasonable or uncooperative.
  • If the taxpayer doesn’t like the outcome of the appeal, they have the right to take the issue to United States Tax Court.
There is also a very similar appeal called an Equivalent Due Process Appeal (“EDP”), which can sometimes be filed if the taxpayer misses the deadline to file for a CDP.

Collection Appeals Program

The Collection Appeals program or “CAP” can be used to appeal a wide variety of decisions made by IRS tax collectors including:
  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien
  • Notice of Levy
  • Notice of Seizure
  • Denial or Termination of Installment Agreement

Penalty Abatement, Offer in Compromise, and Trust Fund Recovery Appeals

Our attorneys can often use these appeals to:
  • Get penalties removed after the IRS denies a request for abatement of penalties;
  • Secure approval of a rejected Offer in Compromise or secure a far lower settlement amount than the IRS was willing to approve; 
  • Exonerate individuals who were wrongfully proposed assertion of the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty.
Jorge Camacho
Jorge Camacho
Coachella, CA
"Fortress was out of state, but that proved to be no disadvantage whatsoever. Their customer service was fantastic. They were on top of things since day one. I actually forgot the tax collector’s name because I never had to deal with her again. I had peace of mind after hiring Fortress, and everything turned out great."

There are two primary avenues of tax appeals within the IRS:  Collection Appeals Program (CAP), and Request for a Collection Due Process Hearing (CDP).  Taxpayers who have missed the deadline for filing a CDP may still qualify for an “Equivalent Hearing.”  Our attorneys have extensive experience working within the IRS appeals system, and know whether, when, and how to appeal if the circumstances are such that an appeal may be of benefit to a client.  

Depending upon the circumstances, an appeal may be an effective method of:  

  1. Reversing an adverse action by the government such as a wage levy or a bank levy.
  2. Preventing the IRS from enforcing against a taxpayer.
  3. Resolving the tax liability with favorable terms.
  4. Obtaining more favorable terms than those that the IRS was initially willing to approve.
  5. Disputing the amount of tax owed.
  6. Challenging a variety of findings or actions of the IRS.

Attorneys vs Accountants
Which is Best for You?

Resolving your tax debt typically has very little to do with accounting, and everything to do with building and presenting a strong case.

Most CPA’s have very little experience, if any, resolving back taxes. Our attorneys do nothing but resolve back taxes, day in and day out.

Negotiation and persuasive skills, not number-crunching skills, get the best results when it comes to resolving back taxes.

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