Tax Litigation Law Office of Scott Kauffman
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Taxpayer takes on IRS over tax deduction, and wins

It is not uncommon for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to question your tax filings. In some cases, the questions can result in an audit and allegations of wrongful deductions. Depending on the magnitude of the allegations, it is wise to fight back.

When is it wise to fight the IRS?

One case involving a musician provides an example.

The agency claimed the bass player and music professor wrongfully deducted certain expenses on his tax returns. The deductions included costs for traveling to various jazz performances and rehearsals. The musician claimed the costs were not recreational, but instead necessary expenses to develop his profession and build his lesson plans. The professor gathered evidence to support his claim and ultimately won his case.

Those who find themselves facing similar allegations of wrongful deductions from the IRS may consider fighting back.

What happens if you fight the IRS?

In the best-case scenario, you would have a successful written protest. In some cases, a relatively simple written protest to the IRS will suffice. Those who choose to move forward with a written protest must carefully review the correspondence from the IRS. This letter generally includes a deadline. A successful written protest will likely need to be completed before the deadline.

If this scenario does not work out, you may appeal and potentially pursue further litigation. If the IRS disagrees with your written protest, you may need to officially appeal the agency’s decision. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be wise to seek legal counsel to help build your case. An attorney can represent your interests and, in some cases, get a compromise with the IRS without needing additional litigation. If additional litigation is needed, the case will likely head to Tax Court where an attorney can continue to fight for your rights.

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