Tax News Archive:

The "New" and "Improved" Appeal's Division at IRS

Appeal’s division is the stop before going to the tax court for the taxpayer to resolve a dispute that they may have with the IRS over an audit or taxes owed. The job of the revamped Appeal’s division at the IRS is to provide the taxpayer with maximum protection against the bureaucracy of the government, a process in which an issue takes forever to be resolved. Under the new Appeal’s divisions, one of their main priorities is to speed up the Appeals that come through the door to them.

The mission of the Appeals is following:

"To resolve tax controversies, without litigation, on a basis which is fair and impartial to both the Government and the taxpayer, and in a manner that will enhance voluntary compliance and public confidence in the integrity and efficiency of the Service."

To speed up the process at Appeals, there are some new programs being put into action. Fast track mediation, which uses an Appeals officer as a mediator between the examiner and the taxpayer to resolve their issues with the most compliance from both sides. This results in speedy settlements. Another new service called Arbitration that uses a neutral individual to settle disputes between Appeals and taxpayers. Mediation is the new service that allows a non-IRS or Appeals mediator to reach a settlement between Appeals and the taxpayer if they were unable to reach one during Arbitration or Fast track mediation. What this shows to the average taxpayer is that IRS cares more now. They are coming up with ways to help you resolve your problems quickly. The issues on the table are reviewed again and again and by different people, as it is evident from all the new services that are offered to the taxpayer.

Appeals are reorganized into three different operating units. These units are created to make things work more efficiently in Appeals, as today’s economy is very diverse and growing each day.

  • Wage and Investment not operational right now. It will involve all cases resulting from IRS service centers and most wage earners out there.
  • Small business/Self-employed-Government entities/Tax exempt will handle all the cases that involve a company or corporation with less than $5 million in assets. This unit will also handle all Wage and Investment cases until 2002. Also handles Estate and Gift tax cases plus Excise and Employment tax and Innocent spouse cases.
  • Large & Mid-size business will look after companies that have more than $5 million in assets. Also deals with international issues and reporting to joint committees.