IRS Appeals Revises Initial Contact Letter

By and on October 5, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service Independent Office of Appeals (IRS Appeals) is the administrative forum for taxpayers to attempt to resolve tax disputes prior to litigation. Subject to certain exceptions, taxpayers can file a protest and have their dispute heard by IRS Appeals after adjustments are proposed at the examination level. Almost all disputes are resolved at the IRS Appeals level.

After a protest is submitted challenging the proposed adjustments, IRS Appeals will contact the taxpayer. This is accomplished through an initial contact letter, which provides general information on what to expect at IRS Appeals.

On October 4, 2022, IRS Appeals informed taxpayers that it is revising the initial contact letter in an effort to improve how taxpayers interact and communicate with it. The two revisions are:

  1. Clarifying that taxpayers and their representatives can choose whether they meet with IRS Appeals (e., by telephone, video or in-person) and that taxpayers and IRS Appeals can work together via mail or secure electronic messaging to resolve disputes.
  1. Providing the name and phone number of the IRS Appeals Officer’s manager to ensure that an appeal stays on track if additional help is needed.

IRS Appeals also indicated that it welcomes comments on the revisions, which can be submitted to ap.taxpayer.experience@irs.gov by December 2, 2022.

Practice Point: As we have discussed in the past, IRS Appeals plays a vital role in the resolution of tax controversy matters without the time, expense and uncertainty of litigation. The initial contact letter revisions should be helpful by allowing taxpayers to choose the manner in which they would like to interact with IRS Appeals and ensuring that cases progress through the process without unnecessary delays. In a typical case, we recommend an “in-person” conference with IRS Appeals, if practicable.

Andrew R. Roberson
Andrew (Andy) R. Roberson focuses his practice on tax controversy and litigation matters. He represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Examination Division and Appeals Office and has been involved in over 75 matters at all levels of the federal court system, including the US Tax Court and Federal District Courts, several US Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Andy has experience settling tax disputes through alternative dispute resolution procedures, including Fast Track Settlement and Post-Appeals Mediation, and in representing clients in Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) audits. In addition to representing corporations and partnerships in tax disputes, he also represents high net-worth individuals and assists taxpayers needing to make voluntary disclosures. Read Andy Roberson's full bio.


Kevin Spencer
Kevin Spencer focuses his practice on tax controversy issues. Kevin represents clients in complicated tax disputes in court and before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the IRS Appeals and Examination divisions. In addition to his tax controversy practice, Kevin has broad experience advising clients on various tax issues, including tax accounting, employment and reasonable compensation, civil and criminal tax penalties, IRS procedures, reportable transactions and tax shelters, renewable energy, state and local tax, and private client matters. After earning his Master of Tax degree, Kevin had the privilege to clerk for the Honorable Robert P. Ruwe on the US Tax Court. Read Kevin Spencer's full bio.

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