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Published:   |   Last Updated: June 5, 2023

Form 12153 Taxpayer Requests: CDP/Equivalent/CAP

When a balance is owed on your account and the IRS has filed a lien and/or plans to levy, or in some cases has already levied, you will receive a notice advising of your right to a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing.  The form 12153 is used to request a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing within 30 days of receiving the notice, or an Equivalent Hearing within 1 year of the notice.

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Notice Overview

You received various notices or letters from the IRS requesting payment for the tax balance owing and the debt remains unpaid. Since you have a balance owing, the IRS is continuing with its collection process by either filing a notice of federal tax lien (NFTL) with the local and/or state recording office to alert creditors that the government has a claim to your interests in any current and future property and rights to property, or issuing a levy that can take your property (such as funds from a bank account, Social Security benefits, wages, your car, or your home). For each tax and period, the IRS is required to send you a notice within five business days of filing the NFTL and generally 30 days before the levy is made, and will send you a Notice of Your Right to a Collection Due Process Hearing, Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process, and Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights, for a full explanation of the Collection Due Process (CDP).

This notice or letter may include additional topics that have not yet been covered here. Please check back frequently for updates.

What does this form mean to me?

This is the form you use to request a CDP or Equivalent Hearing when the IRS advises that a levy will be or has been issued, or a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) has been filed.

You will have until the deadline stated in the letter or notice to submit the form 12153 and request a CDP hearing with the IRS Independent Office of Appeals (Appeals). See Publication 1660 for a full explanation of the CDP process. If you do not file Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing, at the address listed in your notice by the deadline date stated in the letter, you may be entitled to an Equivalent Hearing but will lose the ability to contest Appeals’ decision in the U.S. Tax Court. If your request for a CDP hearing isn’t timely, you can request an Equivalent Hearing within one year from the date of the CDP notice, but you can’t petition the Tax Court if you disagree with Appeals’ decision. 

If the IRS has already issued a CDP notice for that tax debt, then you can still request a Collection Appeal Program (CAP) appeal with Appeals before or after the IRS files an NFTL, before or after the IRS levies your property, or when the IRS rejects, modifies or terminates your installment agreement. Generally, You will need to request a conference with an IRS manager when you request a CAP appeal, Collection Appeals Program (CAP), but unlike a CDP hearing, you may not seek review of Appeals’ determination in the U.S. Tax Court. See Publication 594 and Publication 1660 for a full explanation of the IRS collection process and appeal rights. 

You can also ask that the IRS manager review your case informally. You can obtain the manager’s name and phone number by contacting the employee listed on your notice. IRS employees are required to give you their manager’s name and phone number. For specifics, see Levies and Liens. 

How did I get here?

You received various notices or letters from the IRS requesting payment for the tax balance owing and your tax debt remains unpaid. Since you have a balance owing, the IRS is continuing with its collection process by either filing an NFTL, planning to issue a levy, or has issued a levy.

What are my next steps?

If you have a dispute regarding the debt, the collection action taken or proposed by the IRS, or would like to request a collection alternative, you must timely complete and submit Form 12153 and return to the address listed in your notice. Most times, this will stop enforcement action from proceeding. You should be prepared to explain why you disagree with the collection action and propose a collection alternative or remedy for satisfying the tax liability or lien release.

Where can I get additional help?

Understanding your notice or letter

Get Help topics

If you still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Where am I in the Tax System?

Form 12153

Taxpayer Requests: CDP/Equivalent/CAP