Protest Audit Results
Depending on what stage of the audit you’re in, you have certain options to contest tax assessments that you disagree with.
Option 1: Reconciliation Conference
During the field audit, contested assessments can be disputed by requesting a reconciliation conference. This is an informal meeting with the auditor supervisor and their manager to discuss and attempt to resolve disagreements. This meeting, if well prepared for, can often result in a favorable outcome.
Option 2: Independent Audit Review Conference (IARC)
If disputed issues still remain after the reconciliation conference, you can request an Independent Audit Review Conference (IARC). An IARC allows businesses to address their disputes with an unbiased third party called the Independent Audit Reviewer (IAR). Although the IAR does not work directly for a Comptroller office that conducts audits, they still work for the Comptroller. Texas Tax Group will request an IARC during the field audit to reserve your right to an IARC.
The IAR will conduct the meeting and each side (auditor and consultant) will provide contentions. Preparation, research and presentation is the key to achieving success at an IARC. The Dispute Office will then make a written determination within 30 to 60 days. If Texas Tax Group does not agree with the decision, a more formal Administrative Hearing may be requested after the tax bill is issued.
Option 3: Redetermination (Administrative) Hearing
After a final tax bill is issued, your last option to address disputes before the liability is due is to request a redetermination hearing. The deadline to request a redetermination hearing is usually within 20 to 60 days of the date of Notification of Audit Results (NOAR). The redetermination is a time consuming, complex and often risky process.
Option 4: Refund Hearing
If you miss the deadline to request a redetermination hearing, then your only other option to protest your audit results is a refund hearing. However, you are required to pay your audit liability, penalties and interest before a refund hearing is granted.