Collection Due Process



The following is a quote from the IRS web site:

Taxpayers have a right to be protected under due process. If the IRS finds that a taxpayer owes tax, it must follow certain guidelines in determining the tax, notifying the taxpayer of the liability, and collecting the tax. Before the IRS can begin the collection process of filing a lien on a taxpayer´s property, it must assess the liability and send the taxpayer a bill (Notice and Demand for Payment), which describes what the taxpayer owes. Only if the taxpayer neglects or refuses to pay the tax can the IRS begin collection activities.

Taxpayers have a right to Appeals and Judicial Review. If a taxpayer disagrees with the IRS about the amount of the tax liability or certain collection actions, he has the right to ask the Appeals Office to review the case. The Appeals Office is separate and independent of the office that audits tax returns or is responsible for collecting what is due. The taxpayer also has the right to ask a court to review it.

There are two relatively new Internal Revenue Code Sections that provide taxpayers with "Due Process" rights of appeal.

Section 6320 - Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filed
Section 6330 - Notice of Intent to Levy

Section 6320 requires the IRS to notify in writing the taxpayer against whom a "Notice of Federal Tax Lien" has been filed.  The notice may be given in person, left at the taxpayer's dwelling or usual place of business, or sent to the taxpayer by certified or registered mail not more than five business days after the day the Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) was filed.  The notification must state the amount of unpaid tax, the right to request a hearing during a 30-day period following the end of the five-day notification period, the administrative appeals available to the taxpayer with respect to such lien and procedures relating to such appeals, and the provisions and procedures relating to the release of liens.

The taxpayer is entitled to one hearing per tax period before an Appeals officer who has had no prior involvement with respect to that tax period. (The taxpayer may waive the requirement that the Appeals officer had no prior involvement with respect to that tax period.) Hearings with respect to liens may be held in conjunction with hearings under Section 6330, involving levies. The period of limitations on collection with respect to that tax period is suspended while the hearing and any appeal of it are pending. At the hearing, the Appeals officer is required to receive verification that all legal and administrative requirements for filing the lien have been met. The taxpayer is allowed to raise any relevant issue at the hearing.

Issues eligible to be raised include (but are not limited to):

  • challenges to the underlying liability as to existence or amount,

  • appropriate spousal defenses,

  • challenges to the appropriateness of collection actions, and

  • collection alternatives, which could include the posting of a bond, substitution of other assets, an installment agreement or an offer-in-compromise.

Taxpayers may not raise any issue that was raised and considered at a previous hearing under section 6330 or in any other administrative or judicial proceeding if that taxpayer participated meaningfully in such prior hearing or proceeding. The taxpayer may appeal the determination of the Appeals officer in the Tax Court or a U.S. District Court within 30 days of the date of the determination

NOTE:  If the original CDP request was NOT filed within the 30-day period, Appeals can give the taxpayers an "Equivalent" hearing that is essentially the same as the CDP hearing, EXCEPT that there is no right for the taxpayer to appeal the Notice of Determination issued by Appeals to the Tax Court.  That is why it is very important that a taxpayer timely file his or her original CDP request within the 30-day period.

Recent Tax Court Decision that points out the importance of raising all issues of defense at CDP hearing

IRS's administrative determination to proceed with collection of taxpayer's Code Sec. 6672 penalty assessments, as corrected, was upheld on summary judgment: taxpayer's bare assertions as to penalties' prior payment and/or error in IRS's corrected calculations weren't, absent some supporting evidence, sufficient to raise material fact question or rebut calculations that were amply supported by IRS's extensive records and which had already taken all abatements, corp. payments and other credits into account. Also, taxpayer wasn't entitled to raise at trial new arguments not raised or addressed at CDP hearing. (Moran v. Comm., DC, Northern Dist. of IL)

Recent Tax Court Decision Regarding Challenge in CDP Hearing to Original Return Tax Liability

Montgomery, (2004) 122 TC No. 1

In a recent Tax Court decision, a married couple could challenge their reported tax liability in a collection due process (CDP) hearing because:

1.  they had not received a notice of deficiency, and
2.  they had not otherwise had an opportunity to dispute their tax liability.

Facts. On Oct. 18, 2001, the Montgomerys filed a joint income tax return for 2000 reporting total tax of $2,831,360 and tax due of $196,006. They made no payment with their return. IRS accepted the return as filed and assessed the tax reported in it.  IRS did not audit the return or issue a notice of deficiency.

On Mar. 18, 2002, IRS issued a final notice of intent to levy under Code Sec. 6201(a)(1) . The Montgomerys responded by filing a request for a collection due process hearing under Code Sec. 6330 . In a July 2002 telephone conversation, their counsel informed IRS's Appeals officer that the Montgomerys had overstated the total tax on their original return for 2000 and would submit an amended return showing a refund due.

On Sept. 28, 2002, before any amended return was filed, IRS issued a Final Notice of Determination in which it said that the levy could go forward because the Montgomerys had not timely submitted an amended return. On Oct. 11, they filed an amended return showing that they were due a refund of over $500,000. On Oct. 28, 2002, the Montgomerys timely filed a Tax Court petition for review of IRS's determination. Before the Tax Court, IRS moved for summary judgment on the ground that the Montgomerys couldn't challenge their tax liability at this point.

Tax could be challenged. The Tax Court rejected IRS's motion. The Court concluded that Code Sec. 6330(c)(2)(B) permits the Montgomerys to challenge the existence or amount of the tax liability reported on their original tax return because they had not received a notice of deficiency and had not otherwise had an opportunity to dispute the tax liability in question.

The Tax Court noted that Code Sec. 6330(c) prescribes the matters that a person may raise at a CDP hearing. Code Sec. 6330(c)(2)(A) provides that a person may raise collection issues such as spousal defenses, the appropriateness of IRS's intended collection action, and possible alternative means of collection. It also noted that Code Sec. 6330(c)(2)(B) establishes the circumstances under which a person may challenge the existence or amount of his underlying tax liability. Specifically, Code Sec. 6330(c)(2)(B) provides that the person may raise challenges to the existence or amount of the underlying tax liability for any tax period if he did not receive any statutory notice of deficiency for the tax liability or did not otherwise have an opportunity to dispute it. Accordingly, the Court held in favor of the Montgomerys.

Here is another Tax Court case dealing with Collection Due Process, where the taxpayer raised a number of meritless arguments.

Tim W. Holliday v. Commissioner, TC Memo 2004-172 , Code Sec(s) 6330; 6502.

Case Information: Code Sec(s): 6330; 6502
Docket: Docket No. 13020-02L.
Date Issued: 07/22/2004
Judge: Opinion by GALE

Reference(s): Code Sec. 6330 ; Code Sec. 6502


This case arises from a petition for review under section 6330(d) 1 of respondent's determination to proceed with a proposed levy to collect petitioner's 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998 Federal income tax liabilities. The issue for decision is whether respondent may proceed with the proposed levy. We hold that he may.


Petitioner was a resident of American Canyon, California, when his petition was filed.

Petitioner timely filed a 1992 individual Federal income tax return reporting tax due of $716. After correcting the return for computational and clerical errors, respondent assessed the tax due thereon of $1,061 on June 7, 1993.

Petitioner did not timely file a Federal income tax return for 1993 or 1995. On October 6, 1997, respondent prepared a substitute for return for each year, and on May 18, 1998, respondent assessed tax of $2,903 for 1993 and $6,138 for 1995. 2 Petitioner filed 1993 and 1995 individual Federal income tax returns on September 21 and 18, 1998, respectively. Respondent subsequently abated the assessment for each year to reflect the tax reported on petitioner's returns after correcting for computational and clerical errors.

Petitioner filed a 1994 individual Federal income tax return on September 21, 1998; an assessment of $2,974 was made with respect to that return.

Petitioner did not timely file a Federal income tax return for 1996. On September 14, 1998, respondent prepared a substitute for return, and 3 days later petitioner submitted a return that was filed as an amended return. The return petitioner submitted reported $5,805 of tax due, which respondent assessed.

Petitioner timely filed 1997 and 1998 individual Federal income tax returns, reporting tax due of $7,037 and $7,842, respectively, which respondent assessed.

On September 21, 2000, petitioner filed amended returns for 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 reporting the tax due on each amended return as zero. Respondent treated these amended returns as claims for refund and denied them.

On April 9, 2001, respondent issued a Letter 1058, Final Notice, Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing, to petitioner for the unpaid balances of the aforementioned assessments for the tax years 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998. On May 1, 2001, petitioner submitted to respondent a Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process Hearing. In his request, petitioner advised that he would have a stenographer present at the hearing.

By letter dated May 3, 2002, the Appeals officer advised petitioner that neither stenographic nor audio recording of the hearing would be permitted. A hearing was held on May 22, 2002, during which petitioner was not permitted to make an audio or stenographic recording. The Appeals officer also refused to consider petitioner's arguments related to the underlying tax liabilities covered by the levy notice.

On July 11, 2002, a notice of determination concerning collection action(s) under section 6320 and/or 6330 was mailed to petitioner in which the Appeals officer recommended proceeding with the levy. On August 12, 2002, petitioner timely petitioned this Court for review of the determination.


Section 6331(a) provides that, if any person liable to pay any tax neglects or refuses to pay such tax within 10 days after notice and demand for payment, the Secretary is authorized to collect such tax by levy upon property belonging to the taxpayer. Section 6331(d) provides that the Secretary is obliged to provide the taxpayer with notice, including notice of the administrative appeals available to the taxpayer, before proceeding with collection by levy.

Section 6330 generally provides that the Secretary cannot proceed with the collection of taxes by way of a levy on a taxpayer's property until the taxpayer has been given notice of, and the opportunity for, an administrative review of the matter (in the form of an Appeals Office hearing) and, if dissatisfied, with judicial review of the administrative determination. See Davis v. Commissioner, 115 T.C. 35, 37 (2000); Goza v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 176, 179-180 (2000). Section 6330(c)(2) specifies issues that the taxpayer may raise at the hearing. The taxpayer may raise “any relevant issue relating to the unpaid tax or the proposed levy” including spousal defenses, challenges to the appropriateness of collection actions, and alternatives to collection. Sec. 6330(c)(2)(A). The taxpayer also may challenge the underlying tax liability if the taxpayer did not receive a statutory notice of deficiency or did not otherwise have an opportunity to dispute the tax liability. Sec. 6330(c)(2)(B). Section 6330(c)(3) provides that the determination of the Appeals officer shall take into consideration, inter alia, the issues raised by the taxpayer. We review the determination de novo when the underlying tax liability is in dispute, Goza v. Commissioner, supra at 181-182, and under an abuse of discretion standard when it is not, Sego v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 604, 610 (2000); Goza v. Commissioner, supra at 182.

Two of the principal arguments petitioner raises are that he did not receive the hearing to which he was entitled under section 6330 because he was not permitted to record the hearing and that the Appeals officer refused to consider arguments pertaining to the underlying tax liabilities (because petitioner reported those liabilities as due on his returns). The hearing in this case was conducted, and the determination issued, before our Opinions in Keene v. Commissioner, 121 T.C. 8 (2003), and Montgomery v. Commissioner, 122 T.C. 1 (2004), in which we held, respectively, that a taxpayer in a section 6330 hearing is entitled to make an audio recording thereof, and to dispute the underlying tax liability even where the taxpayer reported the liability as due on his return. 3 At trial, we afforded petitioner the opportunity to raise any issue he considered relevant to the proposed levy or the underlying tax liabilities. 4 We consider those arguments below.

Petitioner argues that the notice of determination was invalid, and we therefore lack jurisdiction, because the hearing he received was defective in several respects. We disagree. The defects in the hearing alleged by petitioner do not invalidate the notice and deprive us of jurisdiction. See Lunsford v. Commissioner, 117 T.C. 159, 164 (2001).

Petitioner next argues that his hearing was invalid and collection may not proceed because the Appeals officer refused to provide him with verification, and did not verify at the hearing, that the requirements of any applicable law or administrative procedure were met, as required under section 6330(c)(1). Petitioner admitted in his petition and at trial that, at the hearing, the Appeals officer would not allow petitioner to see the Appeals officer's copies of the transcripts of account. On the basis of the foregoing, we are satisfied that the Appeals officer obtained verification at the hearing; he was not required to provide any such verification to petitioner. See Nestor v. Commissioner, 118 T.C. 162, 166-167 (2002).

Petitioner next claims that he did not receive notice and demand for payment (as required by section 6303(a)) with respect to the liabilities for any of the taxable years in question, and that the Appeals officer did not consider his contentions in this regard. Petitioner's claim of nonreceipt is belied by the certified copies of Forms 4340, Certificate of Assessments, Payments and Other Specified Matters, in evidence for each year, which show that statutory notices of balance due were issued for each year. Absent some showing of irregularity in the Forms 4340, which petitioner has not made, those records serve as presumptive evidence that notice and demand pursuant to section 6303(a) was mailed to petitioner. See Hansen v. United States, 7 F.3d 137, 138 (9th Cir. 1993); United States v. Chila, 871 F.2d 1015, 1019 (11th Cir. 1989); Craig v. Commissioner, 119 T.C. 252, 261-262 (2002). Respondent also relies on the notice of intent to levy issued in this case as satisfying section 6303(a). See Hughes v. United States, 953 F.2d 531, 536 (9th Cir. 1992); Standifird v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-245, affd. 72 Fed. Appx. 729 (9th Cir. 2003). In light of the Appeals officer's review of the transcripts of account, we are satisfied that he obtained sufficient verification that the requirements of applicable laws and procedures had been met.

Petitioner also advanced a claim at trial that the period of limitations for collection of his 1992 liability had expired. The period for collection following assessment is 10 years. Sec. 6502(a). If a hearing is requested under section 6330(a)(3)(B), the running of the period of limitations for collection is suspended for the period during which the hearing, and appeals therein, are pending. Sec. 6330(e)(1); Boyd v. Commissioner, 117 T.C. 127, 130-131 (2001). Further, the period for collection shall not expire before the 90th day after the day on which there is a final determination in the hearing. Sec. 6330(e)(1). Petitioner's 1992 liability was assessed on June 7, 1993, and petitioner requested a hearing under section 6330(a)(3)(B) on May 1, 2001; i.e., within the 10-year period following the June 7, 1993, assessment. Accordingly, the period of limitations for collection of petitioner's 1992 liability is suspended and has not expired.

Further, with respect to the underlying tax liabilities, petitioner contends that he asked the Appeals officer to tell him which Internal Revenue Code section makes him liable for tax and whether that section is within subtitle A. Petitioner further claims that he inquired as to what “legislative regulation” makes him liable for interest. In both instances, the Appeals officer apparently refused to consider these inquiries. These are frivolous issues that the Appeals officer might have responded to but was certainly not required to consider. Suffice it to say that petitioner reported wage income for each of the years in question and such income is taxable pursuant to sections 1(a)-

See also United States v. Romero, 640 (c), 61(a)(1), and 62. F.2d 1014, 1016 (9th Cir. 1981). As to petitioner's interest liability, section 6601 provides for the imposition of interest on unpaid tax liabilities, and section 6601(g) provides for the assessment and collection of that interest. See also sec. 301.6601-1, Proced. & Admin. Regs. In sum, the challenges to the existence or amount of the underlying tax liabilities that petitioner advanced either at his hearing or in the instant proceeding are meritless.

Finally, petitioner raised a frivolous argument to the effect that there had been no delegation of authority from the Secretary to issue the notice concerning his hearing under section 6330 or to conduct it, and accordingly his hearing was null and void for want of notice from, or its conduct by, the Secretary himself. For the purposes presented here, the Secretary has delegated the authority to issue a final notice of intent to levy to certain IRS employees. See Delegation Order 191 (Rev. 3), effective June 11, 2001, Internal Revenue Manual, sec.; see also Craig v. Commissioner, 119 T.C. 252, 263 (2002). The statute itself provides that the hearing is to be conducted by an officer or employee of the IRS Office of Appeals, not the Secretary. Sec. 6330(b)(1), (3).

Having considered all of petitioner's arguments and found them meritless, we conclude that the Appeals officer's failure to permit petitioner to make an audio or other recording of his hearing was harmless error. Similarly, since petitioner has raised only meritless arguments with respect to the underlying tax liabilities, the Appeals officer's refusal to consider arguments concerning the underlying tax liabilities was also harmless error. In these circumstances, we do not believe it is “either necessary or productive” to remand this case for a recorded hearing where an Appeals officer might consider petitioner's meritless arguments concerning his underlying tax liabilities. See Lunsford v. Commissioner, 117 T.C. at 183, 189; see also Keene v. Commissioner, 121 T.C. at 19-20; Kemper v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2003-195. As petitioner has not raised a spousal defense, challenged the appropriateness of collection actions, or offered collection alternatives, and the arguments he has raised are meritless, we sustain respondent's determination to proceed with the levy at issue. To reflect the foregoing,

Decision will be entered for respondent.


Unless otherwise noted, section references are to the Internal Revenue Code as amended.

Respondent concedes that notices of deficiency for these years were not received by petitioner.

Certain portions of the underlying tax liabilities were attributable to adjustments respondent made pursuant to sec. 6213(b)(1). However, we do not consider whether, pursuant to sec. 6213(b)(2), petitioner previously had an “opportunity to dispute” these portions within the meaning of sec. 6330(c)(2)(B) because in this proceeding petitioner has, in any event, raised only meritless arguments with respect to his underlying tax liabilities.

In light of the fact that petitioner sought, but was denied, recordation of the hearing, we resolve all doubts in petitioner's favor, treating any issue or argument he raised at trial or in any written submission as having been raised at his hearing.