Washington (June 27, 2002) -- Starting this month, small business and self-employed taxpayers can resolve tax disputes within 40 days through fast-track mediation offered by the Internal Revenue Service.
It normally takes several months through the regular appeal process.
Either the taxpayer or the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division can propose mediation of disputed issues related to examinations or collection actions. If both parties agree to mediation, a specially-trained IRS mediator from the Appeals Division helps resolve the dispute. The mediator facilitates discussion, and may request additional information, but cannot impose a resolution. The taxpayer and IRS must agree on any resolution.
"A primary focus in the IRS reorganization has been to develop systems and processes that improve service to the taxpayer. Fast-track mediation is geared to meet taxpayer needs by resolving controversy at the earliest resolution point within the IRS. Fast-track mediation is what modernization is all about," said Joseph Kehoe, IRS Commissioner for the Small Business/Self-Employed Division.
The taxpayer does not give up any rights and can withdraw from mediation at any time. Issues not resolved during the mediation process can follow the normal IRS appeal process. Certain issues, including Service Center appeals, or those issues with no legal precedent, cannot be addressed in fast-track mediation.
-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff
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