The IRS released Announcement 2011-05 creating opportunity for small business and self-employed taxpayers to use the Fast Track Settlement process to resolve disputes within the IRS’s Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) units of the IRS in certain locations including Chicago, Ill.; Houston, Texas; St. Paul, Minn.; Philadelphia, Pa.; central New Jersey, and San Diego, Laguna Niguel, and Riverside, Calif. With continued success additional sites will be added. The SB/SE Fast Track Settlement will enable small businesses and self employed taxpayers with disputes under examination for less than one year to work together with SB/SE and the Office of Appeals to resolve outstanding disputed issues while the case is still in SB/SE jurisdiction.
The IRS simultaneously issued Announcement 2011-06, which extends a two-year test of the mediation and arbitration procedures for Offer in Compromise and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty cases that are under the jurisdiction of the Office of Appeals until Dec. 31, 2012.
The IRS said alternative dispute resolution programs are consistent with its efforts to improve tax administration and enhance customer service. Appeals will seek appropriate Offer-In-Compromise (OIC) and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) cases for both mediation and arbitration during the test period in order to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution for such cases.
During the extended test period, Appeals will continue to offer mediation and arbitration for OIC and TFRP cases for taxpayers whose appeals are considered at an Appeals office located in one of the following cities: Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Indianapolis, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and San Francisco, Calif. With continued success the program is expected to be expanded to other locations.