Washington (May 29, 2002) -- The Internal Revenue Service is testing a pilot program to streamline the process for issuing technical advice in audit situations. During the pilot, the new product - called a Technical Expedited Advice Memorandum (TEAM) - will be limited to income tax and accounting issues. If successful, the TEAM process will expand to all tax issues.

"The TEAM process will speed advice to IRS agents and appeals officers and taxpayers, resolve audit issues more fairly, and reduce confusion over the agency’s legal positions," said IRS Chief Counsel B. John Williams.

The TEAM process will make liberal use of technology - including fax, e-mail and teleconferences - to minimize expenses and burdens for both taxpayers and the IRS. "TEAMs will create a more open process for resolving difficult tax issues," said Williams. "Taxpayers and IRS agents alike can move audits to a speedy conclusion."

One TEAM innovation is that if the taxpayer and the auditor do not agree on the facts of the case, Chief Counsel may issue two separate answers - one based on the taxpayer’s submission of facts and the other based on the auditor’s. In such cases, the IRS field office will not be bound by the findings of the TEAM.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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