It’s tax season and LawHelpNY previously wrote about free places to file and Earned Income Credit, but there may be difficult situations that arise after have filed your taxes or failing to file. Dealing with the IRS can be overwhelming, but there are resources in New York that taxpayers can turn to for assistance with appeals and collection disputes.

Appealing Your Tax Case

If you do not agree with any or all of the IRS findings given to you, you may request a meeting or a telephone conference with the supervisor of the person who issued the findings. If you still don’t agree, you may appeal your case to the Appeals Office of IRS. You do not need to have representation for an Appeals conference but you can choose to have one. If you and the Appeals Office don’t agree on some or all of the issues after your conference, you may take your case to the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or your U.S. District Court.

Click here for an information sheet from the IRS on what steps to take if you don’t agree with a decision or action that the IRS has taken on your taxes.

Getting Help

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) represent low income taxpayers before the IRS and help taxpayers respond to IRS notices and correct account problems. If you are a low income taxpayer and you cannot afford representation, or if you speak English as a second language and need help understanding your taxpayer rights and responsibilities, you may qualify for help from an LITC.

Click here for an information sheet that lists the contact information for LITCs in every state and includes the different counties in New York – such as the Harlem LITC, the Bronx LITC, the Syracuse University College of Law LITC and the Albany Law School Law Clinic & Justice Center – Tax Clinic.

The IRS has a Taxpayer Advocate Service that offers free help with IRS tax problems. You may read more about this service here.

Tax Preparer Disputes

Taxpayers who use the services of paid tax preparers are entitled to protection from unfair treatment. If you feel that you were the subject of unfair treatment by a paid tax preparer, you may file a tax preparer complaint.

Click here for a link to the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers which describes your rights and contains important information about how to protect yourself from unfair practices. There is also a link for filing a tax preparer complaint to New York State.

For more assistance, you may:

  • Read this document about how to understand an IRS notice
  • Chat with someone on LiveHelp for more legal resources and information
  • Contact a legal referral service. For NYC, call the NYC Bar Association Legal Referral at 212-626-7373. For outside of NYC, you may call the New York State Bar Association Legal Referral Service at 1-800-342-3661

-Grace Jun, Columbia Law School

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