Issue resolution and LMSB division appeals.

AuthorEly, Mark H.
PositionIRS Large and Mid-Size Business Division

The Appeals Division that handles taxpayers under the jurisdiction of the Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB) Division is changing to meet the needs of its customers. The vision of Appeals, according to Daniel Black, National Chief of Appeals, is "to provide premier dispute resolution services that meet our customer needs through a highly skilled and satisfied work force, utilizing innovative approaches, dynamic processes, and interpersonal skills that promote quality business results" (IR-2000-57). To meet this vision, Appeals is introducing new initiatives, as well as focusing on some other existing programs. In either case, it hopes to facilitate the issue-resolution process. In a recent survey, customers were the least satisfied with what they considered a lengthy process. As a result, Appeals has made reducing the time it takes to resolve an appeal a top priority.


To decrease both the cycle time of the Appeals process and the inventory of cases, Appeals introduced the Mutually Accelerated Appeals Process (MAAP); see IR-2000-42. Appeals designed the MAAP initiative to reduce the time it takes to resolve Coordinated Examination Program cases.

MAAP handles cases involving $10 million or more in disputed tax. Under the MAAP initiative, both the taxpayer and Appeals must agree to a specific schedule to resolve all issues. In addition, both parties must agree to add resources, if necessary, to accelerate the pace to meet the schedule. At the beginning of the Appeals process, the taxpayer signs a statement agreeing to try to resolve the issues prior to an agreed-on date. If the taxpayer does not meet the date, a new date will be renegotiated.

The IRS has committed 50 Appeals officers to work on the MAAP initiative. Appeals reviewed the existing cases to determine how adding team members, shifting, workload among current team members or creating new teams might accelerate case resolution. In addition, Appeals reviews all new cases to determine whether MAAP would be the appropriate avenue to accelerate resolution. Appeals decides appropriateness based on a taxpayer's level of cooperation, a case's age and status, and whether the case requires the expertise of an IRS Specialist.

LMSB/Appeals FTDR Program

On Nov. 14, 2001, the LMSB Compliance Division and Appeals jointly introduced the Fast Track Dispute Resolution (FTDR) Program; see Notice 2001-67. The objective of this initiative is to promote issue resolution at the lowest levels within...

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