The agency is looking for public input to better serve taxpayers who don’t live near an appeal’s office.
The IRS Independent Office of Appeals is looking for ideas on how to provide taxpayers who don’t live near an appeal’s office better access to its services. The primary goal of the appeals office is to settle federal tax conflicts without having to resort to due process. Once a taxpayer’s conflict with the IRS fulfils for an appeal, the agency will assess the problems and set up a meeting. The appeal office offers various options for conferences such as personal, by telephone, or via video. Additionally, the office can resolve a tax dispute by secure texting or through traditional mail.
Telephone conferences are still the most common choice for taxpayers with pending appeals, according to the IRS, but the appeal’s office has grown the use of video meeting nationally and is developing permanent rules for video conferences based on reviews from the public. In more than 40 states, the appeal’s office has over 60 offices available for having personal meetings.
However, most taxpayers and their agents who request a personal conference find that appeals offices are typically located in accessible, densely populated areas. Not every taxpayer lives near an appeal’s office. When a taxpayer requests a personal conference, an appeal’s officer will travel to that state on every quarter.
Currently, the appeal’s office policy is to offer personal conferences to taxpayers that are fairly easy for them. To ensure compliance with this standard, the office commits to travelling to an IRS office closer to taxpayers residing far away from an appeal’s office.
IRS appeals office seeks public reviews to improve conference options for taxpayers and agents not near appeals office:
- Revising or replacing the “circuit riding” policy to expand opportunities for timely personal conferences for taxpayers living in those states.
- In-person conferences are easier for taxpayers and their agents, who are not located in the same place.
- Best practices for holding hybrid conferences in which some participants meet in person and others participate via video or phone.
- If a case must be transferred within appeals to allow for a personal conference. How can the basic tax dispute be resolved without significant delay?
- Encouraging taxpayers from historically marginalized communities or with limited English proficiency. To take part in personal and video conferences, as well as ensuring accessibility for people with special needs.
The appeal’s office currently has a policy of giving a fairly easy personal conference to taxpayers. IRS upholds “fairly easy” standard by travelling to a closer IRS office for taxpayers far from appeal’s office. You can send public comments via mail by July 10th.