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New virtual conference option to come to the tax appeals process

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Among the things dealing with a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service could involve is bringing an appeal to the agency’s Office of Appeals. Among the things that have big impacts when a taxpayer is bringing such an appeal is what happens in interactions with this office. There are many such interactions the appeals process can involve. Given the high stakes connected to these interactions, having a skilled attorney’s help with such interactions can be of great importance for a taxpayer. This is the case whatever form these interactions take.

Developments in communications technology have changed the way many interactions occur in today’s society. So, it may come as little surprise that such developments could have big impacts on the form interactions with the IRS’s Office of Appeals take. A pilot program is soon to take effect which could lead to one new form of communication becoming a much more common part of dealings this office: virtual conferences.

The Office of Appeals’ pilot program will provide taxpayers and their representatives with a online virtual face-to-face conference option for conferences related to tax appeals. Among the hopes the IRS has for the program is that it will allow for improvements in flexibility and efficiency and lead the way to increased options for taxpayers.

This pilot program is set to start on Aug. 1, 2017. One wonders how popular and effective this new program will be. What impacts do you think virtual conferencing becoming a more common part of the appeals process would have on taxpayers pursuing appeals in relation to tax disputes?

Source: Internal Revenue Service, “IRS Office of Appeals Pilots Virtual Service,” July 24, 2017

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