After receiving feedback from taxpayers and practitioners, the IRS Independent Office of Appeals has made updates to their initial contact letters. Previous contact letters that were received were difficult for taxpayers to understand. Therefore the IRS’ goal with revising these letters is to make them clear and easy for all parties to understand. 

Typically, when an appeal is submitted, an Appeals officer is assigned to the case and then is responsible for sending an initial contact letter with introductory information. They also invite the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s representative in the letter to a conference to discuss the situation. This letter will now allow taxpayers and their representatives to choose how they meet with Appeals through conferences. They can choose to conduct the meeting through phone, video, or in person.

In an attempt to make these letters more clear, the IRS will now include the name and phone number of the Appeals officer’s manager. The officer will still remain as the primary contact for taxpayers, however, the manager’s contact information will help ensure that an appeal is continuing to make progress. This will also allow taxpayers to have another point of contact if they need additional assistance. 

This new language will be included in initial contact letters sent for a majority of cases received in Appeals. This includes those relating to IRS penalties, examination determination, an offer in compromises, a request for a collection due process hearing, or participation in IRS e-file. Overall, the IRS hopes that this helps to improve the taxpayer experience. 

The IRS continues to welcome comments on additional ways that they can help create a better experience for taxpayers and their representatives. If you would like to provide feedback or have ideas for improvement, you can send your comments to AP.Taxpayer.Experience@irs.gov by December 2, 2022. 

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