Washington (April 7, 2003) -- Fast Track Settlement, (FTS), a process for large corporations to settle tax disputes before the audit on their return is complete, is now permanent.  Full implementation of the program follows a successful pilot, during which the taxpayer and the IRS reached agreement on 91 percent of the issues.  The average time to resolve a dispute was about one-tenth the usual time for a settlement. 

The joint program with the Large and Mid-Size Business Division and the Office of Appeals offers a joint process that uses Appeals personnel as mediators in LMSB cases.  Based on the Appeals officer’s analysis of the issues, Appeals may also recommend a settlement.  Under certain circumstances, other IRS divisions and taxpayers may also participate in the FTS program.

“This effort is part of our strategy to resolve taxpayer disputes sooner,” said Larry Langdon, Commissioner, Large and Mid-Size Business Division.  “Bringing in Appeals to mediate these disputes allows taxpayers the opportunity to expedite resolution of disputed issues during the audit, rather than months or even years later.”

Fast Track Settlement is optional for the taxpayer, who may withdraw from the process at any time.  Official guidance for enrolling in FTS will be available in a forthcoming revenue procedure.  Until then, for further information, taxpayers may contact FTS program managers J.W. Wyatt at (314) 612-4639 (not a toll-free number) or by e-mail at j.w.wyatt@irs.gov or James Fike at (202) 283-8353 (not a toll-free number) or by e-mail at james.o.fike@irs.gov.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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