If you receive an unfavorable decision letter from the IRS stating you owe tax penalties on your Colorado state or federal return, you may be panicking. However, there are things that may reduce the penalty. One option is to negotiate with the IRS examination agent, and another one is to file an appeal, which is often granted. This may have favorable results or, at minimum, increase the time you have to pay your tax bill.

According to CNBC, tax examiners want to close the case as quickly as possible and, as a result, may be open to negotiate some of the uncertain items. If you are respectful and understanding towards the examiner, you have a better chance of tipping the scales in your favor. It is always a good idea to hire a tax attorney to help you work through everything, as you have a better chance of getting a desired result. If you still do not get the outcome you want, you can file an appeal.

The Chron states you only have a certain amount of time to file an appeal, so make sure you do it in a timely manner. In your appeal letter, include your contact information, why you disagree with the IRS’s decision and any other information the decision letter requests. Attach a copy of the original decision letter and send it via certified mail. An appeal meeting typically occurs over the phone, and the appeals office may schedule it anywhere from one to three months after receiving the appeal request.