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:
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.