By law, you have the right to a CDP hearing by the IRS Office of Appeals if you receive one of the following notices:

  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing and Your Right to a Hearing under IRC 6320
  • Final Notice – Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing
  • Notice of Jeopardy Levy and Right of Appeal
  • Notice of Levy on Your State Tax Refund – Notice of Your Right to a Hearing

Lien Notice:  The IRS is required to notify you the first time a Notice of Federal Tax Lien is filed for each tax and period. The IRS must notify you within 5 business days after the lien filing. This notice may be mailed, given to you, or left at your home or office. You then have 30 days, after that 5-day period, to request a hearing with Appeals. The lien notice you receive will indicate the date this 30-day period expires.

Levy Notice:  For each tax and period, the IRS is required to notify you the first time it intends to collect a tax liability by taking your property or rights to property. The IRS does this by issuing you a levy notice. The IRS can’t levy or seize your property within 30 days from the date this notice is mailed, given to you, or left at your home or office. During that 30-day period, you may request a hearing with Appeals. There are three exceptions to issuing this notice before levy:

  • When collection of the tax is in jeopardy.
  • When IRS levies your state tax refund.
  • When the criteria for a Disqualified Employment Tax Levy is met.

You may request a hearing after the levy action in these instances.

If your request for a CDP hearing is not timely, you may request an equivalent hearing. To receive an equivalent hearing, your request must be postmarked on or before the end of the one-year period after the date of the levy notice or on or before the end of the one-year period plus 5 business days after the filing date of the Notice of Federal Tax Lien.

How do you request a CDP or equivalent hearing with the Office of Appeals?

You must complete Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing, or other written request with the same information and send it to the address shown on your lien or levy notice. To request an equivalent hearing, you must check the Equivalent Hearing box on Form 12153, or if you don’t use Form 12513 write that you want an equivalent hearing if the CDP hearing request is late. If you received both a lien and a levy notice, you may appeal both actions on Form 12153 or if you don’t use Form 12153, you may appeal both actions in one written request. You must identify your alternatives to, or your reasons for disagreeing with, the lien filing or the levy action. Alternatives or reasons for disagreeing may include:

  • Collection alternatives such as installment agreement or offer in compromise.
  • Subordination or discharge of lien.
  • Withdrawal of Notice of Federal Tax Lien.
  • Appropriate spousal defenses.
  • The existence or amount of the tax, but only if you did not receive a notice of deficiency or did not otherwise have an opportunity to dispute the tax liability.
  • Collection of the tax liability is causing or will cause an economic or other hardship.

You may not raise an issue that was raised and considered at a prior administrative or judicial hearing, if you, or your representative, participated meaningfully in the prior hearing or proceeding. List all taxes and tax periods for which you are requesting a hearing. You are entitled to only one hearing relating to a lien notice and one hearing relating to a levy notice, for each taxable period. In general, the IRS will deny a hearing request that makes arguments identified by the IRS as frivolous or that is made to delay collection.

To preserve your right to go to court, you must request a CDP hearing within the time period provided by law. Your request for a CDP hearing must be sent to the address on the lien or levy notice and postmarked on or before the date shown in the lien notice or on or before the 30th day after the date of the levy notice.

What will happen when you request a CDP or equivalent hearing with the Office of Appeals?

After you request a hearing, you may still discuss your concerns with the Collection office that sent the lien or levy notice. If you are able to resolve the issues with that office, you may withdraw your request for a hearing. If you are unable to, or do not choose to, resolve the issues with the Collection office, your case will be forwarded immediately to Appeals.

Unless the IRS has reason to believe that collection of the tax is in jeopardy, levy action is not permitted for the subject tax and periods during the 30 days after the levy notice and during the timely requested CDP hearing. Normally, there will be no levy action during the period you have to request a hearing from a lien notice and during the CDP hearing.

If your request for a CDP hearing is timely, the 10-year period the IRS has to collect your taxes will be suspended until the date the determination becomes final or you withdraw your request for a hearing in writing.

At the conclusion of the CDP hearing, Appeals will issue a determination letter. If you don’t agree with Appeals’ determination, you may request judicial review of the determination by petitioning the United States Tax Court within the time period provided for in the Appeals’ determination letter.

Appeals will retain jurisdiction over its determination. You may return to Appeals if you believe that the Collection function did not carry out Appeals’ determination as it was stated or if there is a change in your circumstances that affects Appeals’ determination. However, you must first try to work with Collection to resolve the problem.

If your request for a CDP hearing is not timely and you request an equivalent hearing, the law does not prohibit collection action and the collection statute is not suspended. Furthermore, you cannot go to court if you disagree with Appeals’ decision.