IRS Collection Appeals Program (IRS CAP)

If you are unable to resolve your tax debt with the Revenue Agent or his manager, then you can proceed to the IRS Collection Appeals Program or IRS CAP.  You have the right to an IRS Collection Appeals Program hearing (IRS CAP hearing) under a wide variety of situations and it is a good way to get beyond a rude or unprofessional Revenue Officer and Manager tag team.

The IRS Collection Appeals Program allows a hearing under the following circumstances:

– A notice of Federal Tax Lien is filed or you request a lien be withdrawn and you’re denied.  This includes when you are denied a lien discharge, subordination (usually when you are refinancing a home) or the non-attachment.

– A Notice of Levy is sent to you.  You may file an IRS CAP request BEFORE the IRS levies your wages, bank accounts, or other property.  If the IRS already has your money, it’s too late.

– The IRS seizes your property.  You may file an IRS Collection Appeals Program request before OR after the IRS takes your property.  If the IRS has already taken your property, you have only 10 days to file your IRS CAP. If you are denied an installment agreement, or an IRS Installment Agreement is terminated for any reason, you can file an IRS CAP request.  This is often a way to make up a missed payment and get the plan reinstated.

I note that an appeal under the IRS Collection Appeals Program doesn’t have the same legal significance as a CDP filing.  It doesn’t extend the IRS collection statute and you have no right to get in to Tax Court or Federal Court if your IRS CAP hearing doesn’t go your way.

Before you file an IRS Collection Appeals Program request, you must give the Revenue Officer’s manager the opportunity to address your concerns.  So, you must request a manager’s conference before filing an IRS CAP.

If the manager is cut from the same cloth as the RO, as so many of them are, and doesn’t resolve your issue, you can request appeals consideration by filing IRS Form 9423, Collection Appeal Request, with the collection office within 2 days of your conference.  If you fail to file within this time, collection action will resume.

If the IRS CAP request relates to a denied or terminated installment agreement, you have 30 days to submit Form 9423.  Please see the instructions to this form for when and where to mail it.

Remember that the decision under an IRS CAP filing is binding and not subject to judicial review.  Basically, you are hoping that someone with a cooler head at the IRS will hear your plea and take action.  Much of this is the luck of the draw… which appeals officer is assigned to your IRS Collection Appeals Program filing.