The audit reconsideration process: how to request IRS audit reconsideration
A request for reconsideration must be diligently prepared to ensure its acceptance by the Internal Revenue Service.
1. Review audit report and gather documents
The IRS sends you an original audit report that details how it has made the assessments. Review it carefully to find out which items you'd like the department to reconsider. This will also enable you to gather the appropriate documentation to support your request.
Remember, the supporting documentation that you provide must be new information that hasn't been examined before. It must be for the tax year in question. If you're already paid the amount due in full, you'll need to file a formal claim using Form 1040X instead of a request for reconsideration.
2. Submit your documents to the IRS
All relevant documents need to be submitted to the IRS. This will include a copy of your audit report and copies of all documents that you're relying on to support your request. This may include Forms 1099, bank statements, loan documents, etc.
Copies of all documents that were previously provided to the IRS should also be included. You must also include a letter that highlights your reasons for seeking reconsideration. This can either be through IRS Form 12661 or a simple letter.
3. Attach IRS form 12661
The IRS audit reconsideration form 12661 is the official letter that taxpayers can fill out to request a reconsideration. You can also write a simple letter to the IRS instead of using this form. The next section provides directions on how to write this letter.
If using IRS form 12661, fill out the sections to provide information relevant to your request. The form has sections for highlighting the disputed assessments and providing the reasons why you disagree with them.
4. Attach audit reconsideration form 4549
IRS Form 4549, also known as the Income Tax Examination Changes letter, provides a summary of the changes proposed by the department for your tax return in addition to any penalties and interest determined as a result of the audit.
You'll need to provide a copy of IRS form 4549 with your request for reconsideration. It will substantiate the disputes that you’ve raised.
How do I write an audit reconsideration letter?
It's not necessary to use Form 12661 as your request for reconsideration can also be made through a simple letter addressed to the IRS. If you opt to write a letter instead, ensure that it provides all of the relevant information to support your case.
At the very least, this letter should highlight the reasons why you're asking for a reconsideration, the assessments that you're disputing, and provide an overview of the new information that you're relying on.
Most taxpayers who decide to take this route try to find an audit reconsideration letter template that they can adapt as they’re often unsure about how the letter needs to be structured. We’ve created a free sample for you that’s easy to understand.
IRS Audit reconsideration letter sample
We have created this IRS audit reconsideration letter template to help taxpayers looking to dispute audits hit the ground running. However, it’s important to understand that every audit case is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here.
The reconsideration letter that you send must properly address the specifics of your case and present all information in a manner that helps the department reach a favorable decision in your case. Obtaining professional assistance in drafting the letter could make all the difference.
Need help drafting an audit reconsideration template?
Remember, you have one shot at audit reconsideration so everything needs to go without a hitch. Even though the process of filing for reconsideration may seem simple enough, there are many technicalities in which to be mindful. The best way to avoid these difficulties is to seek the professional assistance of an IRS audit attorney.
At Brotman Law, we are qualified tax professionals that can help you avoid the pitfalls and guide you through the entire audit reconsideration process. Contact us today for IRS tax representation and we’ll connect you to an experienced tax attorney that can solve your tax issues.
How long does audit reconsideration take?
Once you've sent in your request, expect to hear back from the IRS within 30 days but it often happens that the department takes much longer to respond. It may take up to several months before you get a response.
If you'd like to expedite your request, write to the Taxpayer Advocate's Office and request them to expedite your case. You'll need to fill out Form 911 titled Request for Taxpayer Advocate Assistance.
If the IRS decides to reject your request or you don't respond to a request for additional information within 30 days, the collection activity may resume after the final determination.
If it accepts your request, the additional tax that has been assessed will be removed. The IRS may also decide to partially reduce (abate) the tax debt.
If you disagree with the results of the reconsideration, you can request an Appeals Conference at the appeals office, pay the amount due in full and then file a formal claim or simply do nothing. In that case, the IRS will send you a bill for the amount due.
Where to send IRS audit reconsideration requests
The examination report that you receive from the IRS office will include an address where you need to send all of the further information for your reconsideration request. If it doesn't mention an address, you can locate your region's office through the IRS website.
Regional Internal Revenue Service campuses are located in Andover, Atlanta, Austin, Cincinnati, Fresno, Holtsville, Kansas City, Memphis, Ogden, and Philadelphia.
Other IRS.gov audit reconsideration contact information
There isn't a direct IRS reconsideration department number that you can dial to speak to someone about your case. However, you can call 1-877-777-4778 toll-free phone number to speak to your local Taxpayer Advocate if you face a significant hardship due to a tax problem.
Similarly, there's no single IRS reconsideration department fax number that you can fax your documents. You'll need to send the documents to the specific IRS campus shown on your examination report and it should include the correct phone and fax numbers.
What percentage of IRS audits are appealed?
For the vast majority of taxpayers, the chances of getting audited by the IRS is less than 1%. Those making $25,000 - $50,000 a year have a 0.4% chance of being audited. Only a small percentage of those IRS audits are appealed by the taxpayers affected.
If successful, how long does it take to get your refund after an audit?
Tax laws do not provide a specific timeframe for refunds to be processed. Even if your return was audited, there's a good chance that you'll still get your refund as long as there are no issues with the return. It normally takes between 4-8 weeks to get your refund.