GAO GIVES GOOD MARKS TO IRS APPEALS OFFICE: The Government Accountability Office offered some recommendations aimed at upping efficiency, but said that the Internal Revenue Service Office of Appeals has been doing a good job handling its process for collection due process appeals.Under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, taxpayers facing liens or levies can request a collection due process appeal hearing with the IRS office. By 2005, those cases represented about a quarter of the office's workload.

After analyzing 208 cases closed during the 2004 fiscal year, the GAO recommended that the IRS require taxpayers seeking a collection alternative to submit additional information with their hearing requests. The IRS disagreed, and the suggestion has now been forwarded to Congress for action. The GAO also asked Congress to consider removing some taxpayer categories from eligibility for the process if those taxpayers' inclusion "is not consistent with the goal of ensuring due process."

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