Appealing audit findings

If you disagree with your Notice and Order of Assessment (NOA) detailing any taxes due, penalty and/or interest liability, you can file an appeal.


How to file an appeal

  • Write a letter on company letterhead requesting an appeal.
  • Mail it to ESD-Tax Appeals, or to an Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) location.
  • Send it within 30 days after receiving the Notice of Assessment (NOA).
  • We must receive the letter within 30 days of the date on the NOA.


How to prepare for the appeal hearing

  • Watch the 32-minute instructional video, from the Office of Administrative Hearings.
  • Prepare for a phone call. Appeals are administrative hearings, usually conducted over the phone by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), a different state agency.
  • Allow about two weeks after the hearing, then expect to get a letter from OAH informing you of its decision in your case and explaining the results.


After the appeal hearing

If our findings are reversed
We will adjust your account according to the findings in your case. This may mean you will not owe any back taxes, penalties or interest. In some cases, OAH may modify the findings of your audit. This result means that some of your tax debt is removed and some is not.

If our findings are affirmed
You can file a Petition for Review with the Commissioner’s Review Office (CRO). This appeal must be in writing and must be postmarked and sent to the Employment Security Department’s Records Center, P.O. Box 9555, MS-6000, Olympia, WA, 98507-9555 within 30 days of the date OAH mailed its decision to you.

If you still disagree with our decision
You may file a written appeal with the Superior Court within 30 days.  You are responsible for all court costs and attorney's fees associated with your appeal to Superior Court.