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IRS Independent Office of Appeals Releases FY23 Focus Guide

By:
S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Nov 7, 2022

The IRS Independent Office of Appeals has released its FY2023 Focus Guide, which highlights initiatives to improve taxpayer service. The Office of Appeals is separate and independent from the IRS Examination and Collection functions that make tax assessments and initiate collection actions.

Chief among the office’s goals, according to the press release, are the following:

• Increasing stakeholder outreach—including to historically marginalized and limited English proficient communities—about the appeals process;

• Improving access to in-person and video conferences and revising letters and notices to ensure taxpayers understand that it is generally their choice how to meet with Appeals;

• Leveraging technology to improve how the Office of Appeals works and manages its cases;

• Continuing the Practitioner Perspectives series in which tax practitioners share insights and feedback with Appeals employees; and

• Developing training for Appeals employees on enhancing customer engagement.

"We will keep doing all we can to promote a positive experience for taxpayers and practitioners, while building upon our past accomplishments and applying lessons we learned from the challenges posed by COVID-19," said Andy Keyso, chief of the Office of Appeals.

Appeals touted its success in addressing “a significant increase in cases referred for settlement after the taxpayer filed a petition in the United States Tax Court,” according to the press release. “Many of these cases involved taxpayers without legal representation and resulted from communications challenges and difficulties in obtaining and sharing documents during the pandemic.”

Other initiatives that Appeal plans to undertake for the coming year are: resolving tax controversies fairly and impartially; sustaining and supporting an inclusive, engaged, diverse, and highly skilled workforce; and promoting effective business processes essential to Appeals that enhance taxpayer experience and reduce employee burden.

“Ensuring that taxpayers and practitioners are satisfied with the appeals process is an ongoing goal for us,” said Shahid Babar, acting deputy chief of Appeals. “The 2023 focus guide is a way to share with the public and with employees our ideas for continually improving how Appeals resolves tax disputes.”

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