IRS TAX PROBLEMS – Changes in IRS Appeals Conferences

IRS TAX PROBLEMS – Changes in IRS Appeals Policy

Changes within the IRS Office of Appeals (“Appeals”) have resulted in clarifications and modifications to IRS Appeals policy.  The IRS has made several changes to the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) regarding Appeals conference procedures, IRM 8.6.1.  These changes became effective at the beginning of October, 2016.

Under one of these new procedures, most Appeals conferences will be conducted telephonically as opposed to in person, as was common previously.  A taxpayer may still request an in-person conference, but the request must be approved by the Appeals team manager.  The IRM provides that in-person conferences should be limited to certain situations, such as when there are substantial books and records to be reviewed that cannot be referenced easily.

The apparent purpose of the change was to address concerns that requests for in-person conferences sometimes were intended to get the case reassigned to a field employee who may be less-skilled or more taxpayer-favorable.  As a result, however, what was once an important and standard part of the Appeals process will be relegated to a phone call.