San Diego, CA Audit Appeals and Litigation Attorney

Through the Federal and California Audit protest, appeals and tax litigation process, San Diego residents and business entities are given an opportunity to challenge improper tax assessments, interest, and penalties. However, they are chocked full of complicated procedures that invariably creates considerable room for error and miscalculation to the unrepresented. When protesting the results of a tax audit, or disputing an unresolved tax controversy in court, it is critical for the taxpayer to be represented by an experienced, aggressive tax attorney with a comprehensive background in state and federal tax law, like the nationally recognized Tax Attorneys and CPAs at the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing.

San Diego Audit Appeals and Tax Litigation Lawyers Can Help

At the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing, our tax litigation and tax appeals team is led by dually licensed Attorney-CPA David W. Klasing, who has over a decade of experience as a former public auditor in addition to approaching three decades of experience practicing first as a CPA with a Master’s Degree in Taxation and then for nearly a decade as a Tax Lawyer. We understand the Federal and California taxing systems from the inside out, giving us the strategic edge whether we are representing a client before a protest or appeals officer, chief counsel’s office or in U.S. Tax Court. We have a great track record of substantially improving our client’s overall tax situations through our protest, appeals and litigation practice. If we do not believe you will benefit from our representation we will decline to take on the engagement and we always place our client’s needs for transparent, honest, fair and zealous appeals and tax litigation representation over our inherent need to make a profit.

While we make all efforts to avoid litigation, we are thoroughly prepared to bring a case to trial in situations where doing so is in the client’s best interests. Whether we are negotiating a favorable compromise or are on the attack with hard-hitting litigation strategies, our San Diego audit appeals and litigation lawyers are zealous and dedicated taxpayer advocates. We help business entities and individual taxpayers appeal the results of:

State and federal tax laws grant individuals and business entities the right to dispute, or “appeal,” the results of a tax audit. This includes audits performed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Employment Development Department (EDD), and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), which was recently created to assume various duties of the Board of Equalization (BOE). Likewise, the results of an appeal can be further disputed through vigorous tax litigation in state or federal court.

If the appeal pertains to a federal tax issue, such as federal income tax, the matter will be handled by the IRS Office of Appeals. Appeals pertaining to state tax issues, such as California sales and use tax or California payroll taxes, are handled by the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA), excluding matters involving insurance taxes, property taxes, excise taxes on alcohol, and employment development taxes.

To file an appeal with the IRS Office of Appeals, the taxpayer must request an appeals conference. This is accomplished by filing a written letter of protest, at which point the case will be referred to the Office of Appeals for review. The taxpayer must receive Letter 525, also called the “general 30-day letter,” before submitting a protest letter. The written protest must contain, among other elements, the following:

  • A copy of the notice(s) you received
  • An overview of the assessment, interest, or penalties in dispute
  • A statement indicating your intent to appeal
  • Supporting evidence and documents, such as bank statements
  • The pertinent statute and/or case law supporting your arguments as to why you should prevail

To file an appeal with the OTA, the taxpayer must mail or fax the below documents before the “appeal-by” date. This date will be featured on the taxpayer’s Notice of Action or Appeals Bureau Decision notice, which he or she will receive from the FTB or CDTFA when the audit is complete. Necessary documents to include in the “opening brief,” which is similar to an IRS protest letter, include:

  • A copy of the notice(s) you received
  • A written request for a hearing to review the disputed issue
  • Supporting evidence and documents

Disputing the Results of a State or Federal Tax Appeal in Court

Unfortunately, the appeals process alone is not always sufficient to resolve every tax dispute. If the taxpayer disagrees with the results of his or her appeal – an outcome which is particularly likely in hig dollar disputes involving corporate taxes, substantial tax debts, or allegations of tax fraud – it may become necessary to petition the United States Tax Court, thus initiating litigation. Such petition must generally be filed within 90 days of the date on which the taxpayer receives Letter 531 (Notice of Deficiency), though an exception grants up to 150 days for taxpayers who received Letter 531 while located outside of the United States.

San Diego Tax Law Offices

If you need help resolving a tax controversy, have questions about tax compliance, or need assistance with individual or business tax planning, contact the attorneys at the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing today. Our experienced San Diego tax lawyers offer reduced-rate consultations on new cases or engagements. There are three easy ways to contact us: call (619) 780-2538, call (800) 681-1295, or contact us online. We are happy to schedule your matter for a reduced-rate initial consultation.