Types of Clergy Tax Examinations

By mail
They handle many examinations and inquiries by mail. They will send you a letter with either a request for more information or a reason why they believe a change to your return may be needed. If you give them the requested information or provide an explanation, they may or may not agree with you, and they will explain the reasons for any changes. Please do not hesitate to write them about anything you do not understand. If you cannot resolve a question through the mail, you can request a personal interview with an examiner.

By interview
If they notify you that they will conduct your examination through a personal interview, or you request such an interview, you have the right to ask that the examination take place at a reasonable time and place that is convenient for both you and the IRS. At the end of your examination, the examiner will give you a report if there are any proposed changes to your tax return. If you do not agree with the report, you may meet with the examiner’s supervisor.

Repeat examinations
If they examined your tax return for the same items in either of the 2 previous years and proposed no change to your tax liability, please contact them as soon as possible so they can determine if they should discontinue the repeat examination.

If you do not agree with the examiner’s findings, you can appeal them to an Appeals Office. Most differences can be settled without expensive and time-consuming court trials. If you do not wish to use the Appeals Office or disagree with its findings, you can take your case to the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or the U.S. District Court where you live. If the court agrees with you on most issues in your case, and finds that the IRS’ position was largely unjustified, you may be able to recover some of your administrative and litigation costs. You will not be eligible to recover these costs unless you tried to resolve your case administratively, including going through the Appeals system, and you gave them all the information necessary to resolve the case.