One of the most important opportunities a taxpayer has is when they receive a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing (IRS Letter 11 or Letter 1058) from the IRS. As part of these IRS Notices, the taxpayer has the right to a Collection Due Process Hearing but must request it within 30 days of the date of the letter to exercise that right. It is a very important and powerful right of the taxpayer. When they request their CDP hearing, three good things happen for them:
- The Taxpayer gets an Appeal Hearing
- Collection is put on Hold while the hearing is pending
- The Taxpayer’s right to take their case to the US Court is preserved
What is an Equivalent Hearing?
If taxpayers come directly into our Richardson TX tax office when they receive the notice, I’m very happy because it preserves these rights. However, that doesn’t always happen. These notices also provide the taxpayer with the right to an Equivalent Hearing. The taxpayer has one year to request the equivalent hearing. The Equivalent Hearing reserves your appeal right, however, collections are not put on hold, and it does preserve your right to take your case before the US Tax Court.
How Do You Request an Equivalent Hearing?
You would use the same form as your request for a CDP Hearing. You would complete Form 12153 (Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing) and send it to the IRS. You would complete it much the same as for a CDP hearing, but you would check box 7, which states you are requesting an Equivalent Hearing.
As with all IRS collection correspondence, I highly recommend that you send Form 12153 by certified mail or fax (keeping proof of the fax receipt). Be prepared to communicate to the Appeals Officer your goal for the hearing, and to respond timely with any additional information the Appeals Officer requests, such as a Form 433 which provides financial information that supports your ability to pay.
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