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How to Sue the IRS: An Explanation of Tax Litigation

How to Sue the IRS: An Explanation of Tax Litigation

You probably paid so many taxes during your life that you’re sick of them. You’re not alone. Nobody likes to see how much of their income goes to taxes, but it’s just how things go. You might even think about suing the IRS. Can you do this? Well, suing the IRS seems like a hopeless case, but it is a possibility.

However, suing the IRS is not that easy, because there are different factors you should keep in mind. This article will give you some details about that.

Why Would You Sue the IRS?

There are certain scenarios when you might want to sue the IRS. So, you cannot just sue them for the fact that you have to pay taxes. It has to be an action that is unfair to you.

For instance, you might receive a gift from someone from another country, and the gift involves a big sum of money. The gift has to be reported, but you don’t do it. If you file a Form 3520 late, then you might be penalized with 25%. Your attempts to dispute the situation don’t work, you’re left with less money, and you’re thinking of suing the IRS.

Even though suing the IRS is usually advised against, the truth is that the IRS lost some cases in the past. One example is from several years ago, when the IRS was sued for some unlawful license fees by different individuals and businesses. The plaintiffs won the case, and the IRS owed them as much as $175 million.

There are similar actions in all the states. Arizona is one of the most active ones in this regard. So, even if you live in a small city like Scottsdale and want to sue the IRS, you can look for a team of Scottsdale IRS attorneys to help you with the case.

How to Sue the IRS

You can sue the IRS in court if you think it’ll help you in any way. You can either sue them in tax court or federal court, but the rules for both options are different. If you want to sue them in tax court, you may only need to meet the filing timelines. Meanwhile, if you want to sue in federal court, you may have to spend money on the amount outstanding, and then sue for a refund. You can also wait for the IRS to sue you, and then sue them with a counter lawsuit.

Pay a Filing Fee

If you want to start the case, then you must pay a filing fee of $60 to be able to sue. You can do it by check or money order. After you complete the necessary forms, you need to make three copies of each one of them.

Complete and Return Forms

At first, the case will be sent to the Office of Appeals, and the IRS may decide to offer a settlement. This is where you can either accept or reject it. You have to submit the petition and then wait to receive a Trial Memorandum, Notice of Trial, and a Standing Pre-Trial Order in the mail. Complete each one of them and send them back 7-14 days before the trial.

Going to an IRS Meeting

An IRS lawyer might ask for a meeting if your case goes to trial. It will let you talk about the case and agree upon some facts related to the case. If there are facts you do not agree upon, they should be taken before a judge and proven.

Make sure to prepare an outline of what you’ll tell the judge. You should also get the required documents in the meantime and find your witnesses.

Wait for a Decision

There may be a decision from the judge immediately after the proceedings. You might get the judgment in the mail some months later, though.

Final Thoughts

Suing the IRS is possible, but you need to prepare for this process. To get some help, you might want to look up a tax lawyer first.


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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.