The IRS Office of Appeals, in a Nov. 28 memorandum, announced new policies that would make it easier for taxpayers to obtain an in-person conference with an Appeals officer.
In the memorandum (AP-08-1118-0013
), the Appeals Office stated that in order to provide taxpayers in IRS campus appeals cases the ability to obtain an in-person conference, the Appeals Office would eliminate “case-assistance procedures” and would make efforts to accommodate a reasonably convenient location for both Appeals personnel and the taxpayer for an in-person conference.
The Appeals Office acknowledged that certain IRS offices cannot accommodate in-person conferences, and in that situation, the case would be transferred to an office that can accommodate such meetings. The procedures outlined in the memorandum, which will be memorialized in Part Eight of the Internal Revenue Manual, apply the same consideration for penalty appeals cases. These cases are generally adjudicated through a telephone conference, but the Appeals Office stated that if an in-person conference is requested, Appeals personnel should follow the new, general rules outlined in IRM Section 126.96.36.199.1.
New Section 188.8.131.52.1 refers to conference practice and states that conferences may be held by telephone, correspondence, in-person and virtually (for example, by WebEx and virtual service delivery). New technologies, when available, may also be used. Face-to-face or in-person conferences should be held in a location reasonably convenient for the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s representative, and Appeals personnel but, in some cases, the taxpayer’s preferred location may not be available. In some cases, managers may approve holding the conference at another site, including at a federal building.
The memorandum also states that in-person conferences will not be offered when a taxpayer is identified as being potentially dangerous, and no IRS Criminal Investigation or Treasury inspector general for Tax Administration protection is available at the meeting; when a taxpayer has not retracted a frivolous, delaying or impeding argument that was included with the hearing request; and for taxpayers who are not eligible for the collection alternative they seek.
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