The taxpayer will have at least one conference with the Appeals Officer. Historically, the conference was in person at the Appeals Officer’s office, by telephone, or sometimes by correspondence. n1597 In October 2016, however, the IRS adopted IRM procedures that appeals conferences are generally held by telephone and, where the taxpayer desires an in-person conference, to offer the taxpayer “a virtual conference as an alternative when the technology for a virtual conference is available.” n1598 The IRM recognizes that “[T]here may be situations in which an in-person conference, including circuit riding should be held to help reach resolution;” in those cases, an in-person conference may be available. n1599 These new procedures limiting the circumstances in which an in-person conference is available are controversial. n1600 It is too early to determine how they will affect the actuality and perception of the Appeals procedures.
n1597 IRM 220.127.116.11 (06-25-2015), Introduction to Discussion on Conferences. This IRM provision has now been replaced by IRM 18.104.22.168 (10-01-2016), Introduction to Discussion on Conferences, and 22.214.171.124.1 (10-01-2016), Conference Practice, which discuss the IRS’s move away from in-person conferences in many cases. I discuss this move in the text.
n1598 IRM 126.96.36.199.1.3 (10-01-2016), Conference Practice.
n1599 IRM 188.8.131.52.1.4 (10-01-2016), Conference Practice.
n1600 See Leslie Book, Technology and the Tax System: A Less Personal Appeals Office Coming Our Way (Procedurally Taxing Blog 10/13/16). [This blog entry is here.]
Monday, October 17, 2016
Tax Procedure Book Errata - IRS Adopts New Rules Restricting Availability of In-Person Appeals Conferences (10/17/16)
The first paragraph in Chapter 10, at Par. VI. Conferences, (Student Edition p 347; Practitioner Edition 487) is revised to read as follows (I provide the footnotes here for the benefit of Practitioners; remember that the footnote numbers are provisional and will be different in the next edition; students should generally not read the footnotes; I note in red the key changes to the text):