Can You Sue the IRS for an Audit?

Understanding Your Rights and Options When Facing an IRS Audit

Dealing with an IRS audit can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Taxpayers may question their rights and options, including the possibility of legal action against the IRS. This comprehensive guide explores the legal landscape surrounding IRS audits, providing clear guidance on when and how taxpayers can pursue legal remedies.

Can You Sue the IRS for an Audit?

Yes, you can sue the IRS for an audit, but only under specific circumstances. The IRS is generally immune from lawsuits, but there are limited exceptions that allow taxpayers to challenge certain actions taken by the agency.

When Can You Sue the IRS for an Audit?

You can sue the IRS for an audit if:

  • The audit is excessive or abusive. The IRS has broad authority to conduct audits, but this authority is not unlimited. If an audit is conducted in a manner that is excessive or abusive, taxpayers may have grounds for a lawsuit.
  • The IRS has violated your constitutional rights. The IRS must follow certain constitutional procedures when conducting audits. If the IRS violates your constitutional rights, such as your right to due process or your right against unreasonable searches and seizures, you may be able to sue.
  • The IRS has made a mistake. If the IRS has made a mistake in conducting your audit, such as misinterpreting the law or making a mathematical error, you may be able to sue to correct the mistake.

How to Sue the IRS for an Audit

If you believe that you have grounds to sue the IRS for an audit, you must follow specific procedures:

  1. File a formal complaint with the IRS. Before filing a lawsuit, you must first file a formal complaint with the IRS. This complaint should outline your allegations and provide supporting evidence.
  2. Exhaust your administrative remedies. Before filing a lawsuit, you must exhaust your administrative remedies. This means that you must go through the IRS’s appeals process and give the agency an opportunity to correct any errors.
  3. File a lawsuit in federal tax court. If you are unable to resolve your dispute with the IRS through the appeals process, you can file a lawsuit in federal tax court.

What to Expect When Suing the IRS

Suing the IRS can be a complex and time-consuming process. Here’s what you can expect:

  • The IRS will vigorously defend itself. The IRS has a team of experienced attorneys who will defend the agency against lawsuits.
  • The process can take years. Tax litigation can be lengthy and complex. It may take several years to resolve your case.
  • You may not be successful. Even if you have a strong case, there is no guarantee that you will be successful in your lawsuit.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

In some cases, it may be possible to resolve your dispute with the IRS through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation or arbitration. ADR can be a less adversarial and more efficient way to resolve tax disputes.

While you can sue the IRS for an audit under specific circumstances, it is important to understand that this is a complex and challenging process. Taxpayers should carefully consider their options and consult with an experienced tax attorney before pursuing legal action against the IRS.

The IRS Audit Process, Former Agent Reveals What IRS Does Not Want u To Know, IRS Tax Audit Defense


Can you fight an IRS audit?

Use Form 12203, Request for Appeals ReviewPDF, the form referenced in the letter you received to file your appeal or prepare a brief written statement. List the disagreed item(s) and the reason(s) you disagree with IRS proposed changes from the examination (audit).

Can you take legal action against the IRS?

Taxpayers can sue the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in either Tax Court or Federal Court. The rules for suing the IRS in tax vs. federal court differ — especially when it involves FBAR litigation.

How much can I sue the IRS for?

If the IRS didn’t follow the correct procedures, you may be able to sue for negligence. Claims are generally limited to the lesser of the amount of your financial damages or $100,000.

How do I get out of an IRS audit?

Within 30 days, you can request an appeal with the IRS Office of Appeals. After 30 days, the IRS will send you a letter, called a Statutory Notice of Deficiency. This letter closes the tax audit and allows you to petition the U.S. Tax Court.

Can I sue the IRS for unpaid taxes?

Yes, you can sue the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in federal tax court for limited issues relating to your tax refund claim, an audit from the IRS, or a countersuit in response to the IRS suing you in the United States Tax Court for unpaid taxes. Keep in mind these are all technical matters for which you can sue.

Can I sue the Internal Revenue Service?

You Can Sue. The law states that if any officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service recklessly, intentionally, or negligently disregards the law in initiating a wrongful collection of tax against you, you can bring a civil action for damages against the United States in federal district court.

Can I sue the IRS for incorrect tax assessments?

You can sue the IRS for incorrect tax assessments, illegal property seizures, and other collection actions in Tax Court or through district/federal lawsuits.

What happens if you get a tax audit?

That means the IRS must show clear and convincing evidence that you knew you owed taxes but took intentional action to prevent them from collection. Less than 2% of IRS tax audits result in criminal charges that could result in jail time.

Leave a Comment