Alternative Dispute Resolution

There are several programs available for tax mediation of disputes for a variety of different taxpayer groups. The various programs are outlined below. Please contact me if you have questions about any of the following programs, or to determine whether you qualify to participate.

Fast Track Settlement Programs

Fast Track Settlement (Small Business and Self-Employed Taxpayers)

Small Business/Self-Employed and the Appeals office have designed an alternative dispute resolution strategy for small business and self-employed taxpayers, called the SB/SE Appeals Fast Track Settlement (FTS). The FTS program was designed to resolve audit issues during the examination process within a goal of 60 days from acceptance of the application in Appeals. The process uses the settlement authority and mediation skills of the Appeals office.

To apply for the SB/SE FTS program, the taxpayer and the group manager need to submit Form 14017, Application for Fast Track Settlement, and the taxpayer's concise and soundly-written response to the Service’s position.

Contact me if you are interested in participating in the SB/SE FTS, or have questions about the program and its suitability for your case.

Fast Track Settlement (Large Business and International Division Taxpayers)

Fast Track Settlement (FTS) offers Large Business and International Division (LB&I) taxpayers a way to resolve audit issues during the examination process in less than 120-days. Working with LB&I and the Appeals office, taxpayers can use the settlement authority and mediation skills of Appeals to shorten their overall experience with the Internal Revenue Service. FTS reduces the combined LB&I-Appeals process time by two years.

Contact me if you are interested in participating in the LB&I FTS program, or have questions about the program and its suitability for your case.

Fast Track Settlement (Tax Exempt and Government Entities Taxpayers)

The Fast Track Settlement program for Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) taxpayers gives TE/GE taxpayers under examination by any of the five business units within TE/GE an opportunity to resolve their disputes within 60 days of acceptance into the program. An Appeals officer trained in TE/GE issues will mediate the issues and, when necessary, utilize the Appeals office’s settlement authority to resolve the issues.

Announcement 2008-105, 2008-48 IRB 1219 explains the eligibility requirements and types of cases excluded from the program. TE/GE includes Employee Plans, Exempt Organizations, Indian Tribal Governments, Federal/State/Local Governments and Tax Exempt Bonds.

Contact me if you are interested in participating in the TE/GE FTS, or have questions about the program and its suitability for your case.

Fast Track Mediation (Small Businesses and Self-Employed Taxpayers)

Fast Track Mediation (FTM) gives Small Businesses, Self-Employed (SE/SE) taxpayers and the IRS the opportunity to mediate disputes through an IRS appeals officer, who acts as a neutral party. In this program, most tax disputes are resolved within 40 days compared to several months though the regular appeal process. IRS offers this new service designed to expedite case resolution on disputes that arise from examination or collection actions.

Other Mediation Programs

Early Referral

Taxpayers whose returns are under the jurisdiction of the Examination or Collection offices may request the transfer of a developed but unagreed issue to the Appeals office. The Examination or Collection offices will continue to develop those issues not referred to the Appeals office. The early resolution of a key issue may encourage taxpayers and the IRS to agree on other issues in the case. Early referral can also be requested with respect to issues regarding an involuntary change in method of accounting, employment tax, employee plans and exempt organizations. Regular Appeals procedures apply, including taxpayer conferences.

Post Appeals Mediation

Mediation is available for certain cases that are already in the Appeals process only after Appeals settlement discussions are unsuccessful and, generally, when all other issues are resolved but for the issues for which mediation is being requested. Mediation is a non-binding process that uses the services of a mediator, as a neutral third party, to help the Appeals office and the taxpayer reach a negotiated settlement. To accomplish this goal, the mediator will act as a facilitator; assist in defining the issues; and promote settlement negotiations between the Appeals office and the taxpayer. The mediator will not have settlement authority in the mediation process and will not render a decision regarding any issue in dispute.

Arbitration

Arbitration is available for certain cases within the Appeals office’s jurisdiction that meet the operational requirements of the program. Generally, this program is available for cases in which a limited number of factual issues remain unresolved following settlement discussions in Appeals. Appeals and the taxpayer will be bound by the arbitrator's findings. The arbitration procedure uses the services of an arbitrator either from the Appeals office or from an outside organization.

Simultaneous Appeals/Competent Authority

The simultaneous Appeals/competent authority procedure encourages taxpayers to request competent authority assistance and the participation of the Appeals office while a case is under the Examination Division's jurisdiction.

Get on the Fast Track…to resolving your tax issues. Schedule your free  consultation today.

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