So I have an extremely controversial tax case. There's no clear explanation of it in the law as I have been told by a couple of attorneys whom I paid. But we did develop an argumentative structure as to why I don't have to pay the tax. I am not going to go into the details on this. My question is as follows. I have two options either pay 5k USD for a private letter ruling from IRS with attorney fees for preparation on top or simply send a protective tax form with an explanation as to why I do not owe anything. I am leaning towards the latter. However attorneys are telling me to attach a ceck to my protective form in order to make IRS respond in the form of tax refund should they agree with our arguments. However, I will have to open a bank account in the US for this and since I am neither a resident nor citizen of US, it will be extremely difficult. I want to send a tax form claiming zero tax being owed in my case with an explanation attached. No checks. Will the IRS even respond to such a filing? If not then what should I do in your opinion?

  • A bank in your country will write you a check in US dollars which you can send to the IRS. Commented Jul 7 at 7:37
  • @DJClayworth Actually you cannot do this. Only checks from US banks are valid for IRS
    – Tupel Mike
    Commented Jul 7 at 18:41
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    The United States IRS is one of the most bizarre institutions in the world. And US tax law is one of the weirdest and most convoluted systems in the world. Commented Jul 7 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


You have attorneys, plural, advising you. What makes you think random people on the Internet know better? PLR is used before actions are taken, for planning. If the actions were already taken - file a protective return. Follow your attorneys' guidance.

IRS providing refund is in no way an acceptance of your claim, by the way. Account is balanced way before anyone even starts looking at it in the audit department.

  • Thanks. I need to clarify. My attorney keeps saying that a protective form is possible. However I could only find a protective form for corporations. It seems like such a thing is not possible for individuals. All I am asking is whether IRS will respond to my form claiming no tax due with no check to request a refund for. I am afraid they'll come back to me a couple years later saying they do not agree and impose penalties for overdue payment. Attorney has nothing on this
    – Tupel Mike
    Commented Jul 7 at 18:40
  • @TupelMike that's a risk if they disagree with your position. If it's so unique that there's law ambiguity and zero precedent you might need to go to court to resolve it. Yes. Protective return for individuals is... A regular tax return
    – littleadv
    Commented Jul 7 at 18:55

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