Taxpayers take the IRS to court -- and actually win

It may be hard to believe, but it turns out that your chances of fighting the IRS in court -- and winning -- are actually better than getting hit by lightning (1 in 6,250), dying after a shark attack (9 in 152) or even having twins (3 in 100). In fact, the National Taxpayer Advocate's office found that over the course of a year, taxpayers won some portion or all of their cases roughly 14% of the time.

Taxpayers who were represented by counsel won about 20% of those cases, while those who represented themselves, referred to as pro se, prevailed in about 12% of them (download the entire report here). The predictable losers, with only a 6% success rate, were tax protesters who attempted to litigate based on frivolous arguments. On the other end of the spectrum, requests for "innocent spouse" treatment or other types of separation from joint liability were granted nearly 45% of the time.

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