IRS Piloting Program for Virtual Appeals


IRS Virtual Appeals Service Being Piloted

 

As part of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights posted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), taxpayers, including small businesses, have the ability to appeal and resolve any disagreement you might have with the IRS. To simplify the appeals process, the agency just announced a new web-based virtual conference option you can use from anywhere.

One of the difficulties for small businesses (or for anyone filing for an appeal) is the limited number of IRS offices with appeals officers. Even though you can meet over the phone with an appeals officer, many people like face-to-face interactions.



IRS Virtual Appeals Service

If there is not an appeals officer in your location, you either have to settle for a phone meeting or travel to another city. As part of a pilot program, the web-based virtual conference platform will launch on Aug. 1, 2017. After the pilot, the IRS will evaluate the outcome, which will include customer satisfaction with the technology before implementation.

For businesses and individuals looking to appeal an IRS decision, the technology will save time and money. All you need is an internet connection and you can initiate a web-based virtual conference. This is especially useful for taxpayers in remote locations or places where appeal officers are not available.

According to the IRS, there are more than 100,000 appeals being filed each year. So what is an appeal?

The appeals office is separate from departments investigating or auditing tax returns. An impartial officer settles the dispute on matters such as disallowing a deduction. You can have an attorney or CPA represent you, or you can do it yourself.

If it all works out according to plan, IRS Chief of Appeals Donna Hansberry, said, “In the future, the technology may give taxpayers greater options in engaging with Appeals and could allow us the flexibility to serve taxpayers virtually from any location using mobile devices or computers.”

IRS Building Photo via Shutterstock

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Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

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