It is a common misconception among American taxpayers that the offices within federal government works at a snail's pace. In fact, the IRS has recently taken the lead in timeliness and efficiency with its new virtual appeal.
This program is designed to eliminate the stacks of paperwork and the lengthy wait that taxpayers used to endure when appealing tax situations. Learn more about it and why the IRS virtual appeal could be your solution to resolving your complicated and time consuming tax matter.
What is the IRS Virtual Appeal Program?As its name implies, the IRS virtual appeal is a web-based video conference that connects the taxpayer with an IRS representative through virtual technology. It was introduced to the public on August 1, 2017 and has since been tested in select areas. It is expected to be available to taxpayers across the country starting in the 2018 tax season.
The video conference is secure and private and can be conducted in a person's home or office. It could eliminate the need for an face-to-face meeting and can be a faster and more efficient way to resolve an otherwise complicated tax matter.
Moreover, the virtual appeal makes it easier for people to speak with the IRS representative without having to travel to the nearest IRS field office. In particular, people who are disabled and individuals who live hours away from this office may find it easier and more effective to utilize the virtual appeal rather than leave the house to handle their tax situations.
Ultimately, the virtual appeal is designed to put people at ease and give them access to their local IRS representative that they may not have otherwise had because of distance, illness, or other challenges that prevented them from visiting their nearest office. People may feel more comfortable participating in a virtual conference that is held in their own home or workplace. They also may appreciate not having to travel and wait for hours or correspond by letter with the IRS to resolve their tax issue.
Important Tips to Remember about the IRS Virtual AppealWhile the IRS virtual appeal may be more informal and efficient, it still is a legitimate process that requires your due attention. Just as you would prepare before a face-to-face meeting with an IRS representative, so should you prepare for this virtual conference as well.
You are advised to compile all of the necessary paperwork before the start of the meeting. You also should have copies of your tax returns on hand to refer to during the virtual appeal.
As mentioned, the meeting is entirely secure, and your privacy will be protected throughout the proceedings. Further, you are entitled to all of the rights and due process as a taxpayer. The IRS must provide you with a written copy of these rights before you schedule and participate in a virtual appeal with the representative.
You also have the right to retain and have present a tax professional or tax attorney during the virtual appeal. Depending on your tax situation, you may find that hiring a tax professional to assist you could be in your best interest and produce the results you want with the appeals process.
Why Hire a Tax Professional for an IRS Virtual Appeal?A virtual appeal can be a less nerve wracking process to endure. Even so, you still might find the prospect of speaking with an IRS representative to be galling and complicated.
It is vital, however, that you advocate for yourself and provide the full depth of information to the representative to back up your own argument. If your tax issue is more difficult than you anticipated or you simply want someone there to advocate for your best interests, you should hire a tax professional to be with you during the virtual conference.
A tax pro may also be a wise ally to have with you if you believe the IRS has made a mistake and owes you money. Depending on your situation, you may have the right to petition the IRS for reimbursement of expenses like:
- court costs
- administrative fees
- costs of studies and analyses
- attorney fees
When you want to be paid back for these costs, you may be more successful with your request by allowing a tax professional to make the petition for you during the virtual appeal.
The IRS virtual appeal could eliminate your need to meet with an IRS representative in person. It also can be the fastest and most efficient way for you and your tax professional to present your argument and resolve your case.