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San Jose, CA tax appeals lawyer for IRS assessmentMany taxpayers are understandably concerned when they receive a notification from the IRS stating that they owe taxes. If a taxpayer does not respond to a Statutory Notice of Deficiency, the IRS may perform a tax assessment and take action to collect the amount owed. A taxpayer may appeal the tax deficiency by filing a petition in Tax Court, but in some cases, a petition may not be received in time, resulting in a premature tax assessment.

Time Limits for Tax Assessments

After receiving a Notice of Deficiency, a taxpayer has 90 days to file a petition in Tax Court. After the end of this 90-day period, the IRS has 60 days to perform a tax assessment. The IRS may then take a number of different types of actions to collect the amount owed by the taxpayer, including issuing levies to seize a taxpayer’s assets or garnish his/her wages, placing tax liens on a taxpayer’s property, or offsetting a taxpayer’s tax refunds. 

While the IRS is not allowed to make an assessment during an open Tax Court case, it may begin to do so after the end of the 90-day period. In many cases, premature tax assessment occurs because the IRS has not received notification that a taxpayer has filed a petition in Tax Court. Since the 90-day deadline applies to the date that a petition is mailed, if a petition is sent close to the deadline, it may not be received until several days or even multiple weeks after the deadline. If a tax assessment is done even after a taxpayer has filed a petition before the deadline, the taxpayer may file a motion to prevent the assessment or stop IRS collection actions.

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