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Protest a department notice

If you received a notice from the Tax Department stating that you have protest rights, you can challenge the notice in either of the following ways:

  • file a request for a conciliation conference, or
  • file a petition for a Tax Appeals hearing.

Taxpayers initially file more than 98% of all protests as a request for a conciliation conference. Over 90% of these protests are resolved through this process.

You don't have protest or appeal rights if you:

  • owe tax, interest, or penalties as a result of a mathematical or clerical error on a return, a change the IRS made to your federal return, or your failure to timely pay tax you reported due on your return, or
  • received a Statement of Audit Changes/Adjustment; refer to your notice for additional information.

If you don't have protest or appeal rights, see Disagree with a bill or action for other options to request review of your notice.

Request a conciliation conference through an independent bureau in the Tax Department

Request a conciliation conference through the Bureau of Conciliation and Mediation Services (BCMS), an independent bureau in the department that reports directly to the Commissioner. When you file your request, you may ask for an interpreter for your conference. 

A BCMS conference is more timely and less expensive than the Division of Tax Appeals hearing described below. It's an impartial forum to hear disputes. They can only address department notices that have appeal rights and where the taxpayer or representative has filed a timely Form CMS-1, Request for Conciliation Conference. Learn what to expect throughout the conciliation conference process.

Request Conference

File a petition for a Tax Appeals hearing

File a petition in writing with the Division of Tax Appeals. Your petition must state which department actions you're protesting. 

After the hearing, an impartial administrative law judge (ALJ) will issue a determination that decides the dispute unless you or the department request further review by the Tax Appeals Tribunal. The Tribunal will review the record of hearing and any additional oral or written arguments. It then:

  • issues a decision affirming, reversing, or modifying the ALJ's determination; or
  • refers the matter back to the ALJ for further hearing.

File petition