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Question on Rapid appeals of Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Assessment

Los Angeles, CA |

Got a personal lien for a payroll tax as an officer of a corp. Went through IRS appeals and appeals officer gave me a suggestion. The Rev officer never noticed me with Letter 1153. I filed a FOIA request 60 days ago and they can't find the letter.

She said there's an expedited way to get the lien removed: Pay one quarter of employee's tax and then file for a refund through form 843. That then secures the trust fund recovery file and will determine if the assessment is valid. At the same time file a 656-L OIC Doubt as to Liability form which goes straight to appeals board.

Anyone have any comments on this and if you think it will work (in theory)? Need lien removed within 60 days.

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Attorney answers 3


By far the most expedited approach would be to have your tax attorney dispute the due process of the collection action. Then, you have a right to petition the Unites States Tax Court, where you can litigate the matter and resolve within a year. But in the meantime, your attorney can arrange a withdrawal of the lien, until the litigation is complete.

As far as the other suggested tactic, there is actually no IRS procedure that will follow that series of processes. Therefore, it is unlikely that you'll get the desired result, because the "next" IRS personnel that sees your file will have no directives, and therefore no direction. In my opinion, that approach will waste time, and you'll miss your opportunity fto petition the Tax Court.

PLUS, in Tax Court, you don't have to prepay the tax. Seriously, find a tax lawyer. Even if from outside your area. Find someone that understands tax procedure.

IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE NOTICE: IRS Circular 230 regulates written communications about federal tax matters between tax advisors and their clients. To the extent the preceding correspondence and/or any attachment is a written tax advice communication, it is not a full “covered opinion”. Accordingly, this advice is not intended and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by the IRS regarding the transaction or matters discussed herein.



this is great but I don't have a year. House is going to sell within months. So I need to find a way to get the lien lifted now.

Jeffrey Anton Collins

Jeffrey Anton Collins


See. You will need to share those additional details with your attorney. Knowing the purpose helps to narrow your answers. (But this forum still has limited use.) Hire a lawyer to allow some time to handle this problem for you. Additional solution: Your tax attorney can also have the lien subrogated, so that you can sell the house. It will take an attorney well-experienced in tax procedure approx. 2 months to finish that process. (It will take someone less experienced about 6-9 months.) But know this: IRS will still collect the back taxes from the proceeds, if there are any. If there are no proceeds, then this is the route to take. Use your time wisely -- hire some help. Good luck.


I agree with Mr. Collins. You need to secure counsel and get some good tax advice. The IRS is currently backlogged wtih OIC's. I could take years to get a decision on an OIC and the lien would not be released until then if at all.

It also makes not legal, logical or tax sense that you would pay a quarter of the tax, get a refund and also get a lien release.

Phillip M. Smith Jr.
Los Angeles Tax & Business Attorney
Licensed before the United States Tax Court
Call: 323-292-4116

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mr. Smith is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in Los Angeles County. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. His phone number is 323-292-4116 or his email address is


I view this issue a bit differently. As a first step, you should get advice as to whether or not you are liable for trust fund penalties. If, ultimately, you will be, why fight that aspect? If you are liable, you would then deal with the collection aspect with the many alternatives that are available.

Now, assuming you are probably not liable, the two approaches have actually been offered by the appeals officer.

1. Pay the one quarter and seek a refund; or

2. File for the Offer in Compromise.

One of the other attorneys offered a third alternative. That was to dispute the collection action through a collection due process hearing. That may not be available to you at this time depending upon the procedural history of the case.

A fourth alternative is to work through the Taxpayer's Advocate office.

To determine which of the four to use, you should consult with a seasoned tax attorney who regularly uses all four alternatives and is fully familiar with these tools.

Our office is available to do such consultation over the phone.

Good luck.


Marty Davidoff,, 732-274-1600. This answer is provided for general information only. You should seek advice from an attorney or tax professional.