As part of the Taxpayer First Act, passed by both houses of Congress in June 2019 and expected to be signed by President Trump as of the date of this post (June 14, 2019), there is a new process for appeals proposed.
In addition to making it easier for taxpayers to make an Offer in Compromiserequests and extending the time to pay on installment agreements from five to seven years (theoretically reducing payment amounts), the IRS was directed to establish an Independent Office of Appeals to expedite the settlement process and reduce the amount of tax litigation in Tax Court.
The bill establishes an “Independent Office of Appeals” within the IRS. A new Chief of Appeals position is created by the bill, reporting directly to the IRS commissioner. The purpose of the new Independent Office of Appeals, as described in new Sec. 7803(e)(3), is to resolve federal tax controversies without litigation on a basis that “(A) is fair and impartial to both the Government and the taxpayer, (B) promotes consistent application and interpretation of, and voluntary compliance with, the Federal tax laws, and (C) enhances public confidence in the integrity and efficiency” of the IRS. The resolution process afforded by the Independent Office of Appeals is to be generally available to all taxpayers, and, if an appeal request is denied, the IRS must provide a written notice explaining why.
This is generally good news for taxpayers – and may streamline the byzantine process.