The Collection Appeals Program (CAP) is an IRS procedure available to appeal a broad range of enforcement collection actions. It does have some pitfalls when compared to a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing, so consider consulting with an experienced IRS tax attorney if you are not sure which procedure to use.
The Collection Appeals Program (CAP) procedure can be used to dispute the following collection actions:
1. Before or after the IRS files a Notice of Federal Tax Lien
2. Before or after the IRS levies or seizes your property
3. Termination, or proposed termination, of an installment agreement
4. Rejection of an installment agreement
5. Modification, or proposed modification, of an installment agreement
Some of these IRS enforcement actions may also be appealed during a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing, so you may be unsure, due to your inexperience, which method is preferable for appealing an IRS tax lien or an IRS bank account levy.
If you, the financially struggling taxpayer, have a situation where you can use an IRS Collection Appeals Program (CAP) procedure before aan IRS Collection Due Process (CDP) notice is issued, you have to be very careful because an issue that is raised and decided in an IRS Collection Appeals Program ( CAP) hearing cannot be appealed during an IRS Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing, unless new information is presented. This could also prevent you from raising the issue in Tax Court, so do not pursue the CAP hearing prematurely.
The IRS Collection Appeals Program (CAP) can be valuable for appealing actions related to installment agreements, which cannot be appealed during a CDP hearing. If the IRS terminates an existing installment agreement, perhaps because you missed a payment or you failed to file a tax return, the IRS may initiate enforcement collection actions such as wage garnishments and/or bank account levies.
Third parties also have the right to use the CAP procedure to contest the filing of federal tax liens against alter ego or nominee property. Persons alleged to be alter egos or nominees do not have the right to an IRS Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing.