Practitioner Perspectives series to continue within IRS Appeals

By Martha Waggoner

The IRS Independent Office of Appeals will continue its Practitioner Perspectives series as part of its focus guide for fiscal year 2023, the office's chief said.  

During the series, tax practitioners share insights and feedback with Office of Appeals employees. Recordings of panel discussions on Collection Appeals and Examination Appeals are available.

The Office of Appeals "will keep doing all we can to promote a positive experience for taxpayers and practitioners, while building upon our past accomplishments and applying lessons we learned from the challenges posed by COVID-19," Andy Keyso, chief of Appeals, said Friday in a news release.

The focus guide outlines the taxpayer service initiatives expected over the coming year:

  • Increasing stakeholder outreach — including to historically marginalized and limited English proficient communities — about the appeals process.
  • Improving access to in-person and video conferences and revising letters and notices to ensure taxpayers understand that it is generally their choice how to meet with Appeals.
  • Leveraging technology to improve how Appeals works and manages its cases.
  • Developing training for Appeals employees on enhancing customer engagement.

In 2022, the Appeals Office used a new initiative to resolve 7,500 cases in U.S. Tax Court that were docketed when the initiative began. Many of the cases involved taxpayers without legal representation and resulted from communications challenges and difficulties in obtaining and sharing documents during the pandemic.

Under the initiative, Appeals posted guidelines in April advising employees how to streamline their approach to these cases. The office tried to reach affected taxpayers on the phone shortly after receiving the cases and also considered specific amounts for settlements, expedited tax computation, and streamlined internal documentation of proposed settlements.

Also on Friday, the IRS and the Treasury Department posted the initial version of their 2022–2023 Priority Guidance Plan, which contains more than 200 guidance projects covering July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. It provides no deadlines for the projects. The public is invited to continue to provide comments and suggestions throughout the plan year.

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Martha Waggoner at Martha.Waggoner@aicpa-cima.com.

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