What can the taxpayer do if the time to respond to an IRS collection notice has passed?

Do you owe the IRS unpaid back taxes? Have they sent you many letters but you did not respond?

There are still options.

CDP – Collection due process.

If the time to respond to an IRS collection notice has passed, you, the taxpayer, or your power of attorney / representative, may file a request for an equivalent hearing if you failed to make a timely request for a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing (after receiving a Notice and Opportunity for Hearing upon Filing of Notice of a Federal Tax Lien or a Notice and Opportunity for Hearing Prior to Levy). The equivalent hearing will be held by the Appeals Office and will follow the procedures that are used for CDP hearings.

Get professional IRS representation. Our firm represents taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS.

Please call us at 562-204-6700 or email us to schedule an appointment.


The IRS Appeals Office will issue a Decision Letter at the conclusion of the equivalent hearing. To request an equivalent hearing, the taxpayer or the power of attorney must check box 6 on Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing, or the taxpayer may make a written request that contains:

• The date
• The taxpayer’s name, address,daytime telephone number, and taxpayer’s identification number (i.e., SSN, ITIN or EIN).
• The type of tax involved
• The tax period at issue
• A statement that the taxpayer is requesting an equivalent hearing with Appeals concerning the Notice
• The reason or reasons why the taxpayer disagrees
• The signature of the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s authorized representative
The review will be similar to a CDP, except that the decision will not be subject to judicial review. Collection action may be suspended until the hearing is held, but the IRS is not required to suspend collection action.

An equivalent hearing request does not prohibit levy, suspend the 10-year period for collecting taxes; nor can IRS Office of Appeals’ decision about the disagreement be appealed to the Tax Court. Exceptions include 90 days to file a petition for review of a denial of innocent spouse relief and 180 days to file a petition for review of denial of interest abatement.

The request for an equivalent hearing must be within the following time frame:
• Lien Notice– one year plus five business days from the filing date of the Federal Tax Lien
• Levy Notice– one year from the date of the levy notice
The taxpayer may also:
• File an application with the National Taxpayer Advocate. The taxpayer Advocate may issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order if it determines the taxpayer is suffering or about to suffer significant hardship as a result of the way in which tax laws are being administered by the IRS.
• Seek a reconsideration from the IRS office collecting the tax.
• Seek an administrative hearing before the Collection Appeals Program.

Get professional IRS representation. Our firm represents taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS.

Please call us at 562-204-6700 or email us to schedule an appointment.

Mike Habib EA is an accredited member of the BBB better business bureau with an A+ rating. Mike is also an Endorsed Local Provider – ELP by Dave Ramsey, the TV and financial expert. Mike is an active member of CSEA – California Society of Enrolled Agents, and NAEA – National Association of Enrolled Agents.

About Mike Habib, EA NTPI Fellow®:

Mike Habib, EA is an IRS licensed Enrolled Agent who owns and operates a specialized tax services boutique firm serving clients in various metro areas such as Los Angeles, Whittier, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Orange County, Riverside, Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Palmdale, Bakersfield, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Fort Worth, Baltimore, Charlotte, El Paso, Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, Milwaukee, Denver, Louisville, Jefferson, Las Vegas, Reno, Hempstead, Tucson, Nashville, Davidson, Portland, Tucson, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Anchorage, Atlanta, Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento, Mesa, Kansas City, Cleveland, Virginia Beach, Omaha, Miami, Oakland, Tulsa, Honolulu, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Colorado Springs, Arlington, Wichita, Birmingham, Montgomery, Tampa, Orlando.