August 15, 2000
Redesigned Appeals Division Begins Work at IRS
WASHINGTON - As part of the Internal Revenue Service reorganization, the
redesigned Appeals Division began work this week. The new Appeals will strive for
enhanced customer service through faster case resolution and a variety of initiatives
designed to accommodate taxpayer needs.
Appeals plays a vital role in the protection of taxpayer rights by having authority
to settle disputes between taxpayers and operating divisions within the IRS. Appeals
provides the final administrative opportunity to resolve the matter before going to court.
Typically, Appeals reaches agreement with taxpayers on 90 percent of its cases. Last
year, Appeals received over 58,000 new cases.
Appeals has reorganized its staffing into a headquarters and three operating
units that align with the larger IRS operating divisions. Appeals Headquarters is
responsible for addressing Appeals' strategic needs while the operating units will focus
on providing service to different segments of taxpayers. "This will allow us to better
focus our resources on providing top quality service to our customers," said Daniel L.
Black, Jr., National Chief of Appeals.
Black reports directly to the IRS Commissioner and is responsible for planning,
managing, directing and executing nationwide activities for Appeals. The office of the
Deputy Chief Appeals, headed by Linda Garrard, has functional responsibility for all
strategic planning in Appeals.
The Appeals operating divisions are:
- Appeals Large and Mid-Size Operating Unit, headed by Earl Blanche Jr.
- Appeals Small Business/Self-Employed - Tax Exempt and Government
Entities Unit headed by John D. Piper with Christian G. Beck as Deputy.
- Appeals Wage and Investment Unit, which will not be operational until fiscal
year 2002, will handle cases coming from IRS service centers.
"Our vision for the new Appeals is to provide premier dispute resolution services
that meet our customer needs through a highly skilled and satisfied workforce,
innovative approaches, dynamic processes, and interpersonal skills that promote quality
results, " Black said. "Major strategies for FY 2001-2002 are to reduce the length of
time it takes for a case to go through Appeals and to improve taxpayer awareness of
appeal rights and processes."
Appeals has revamped its processes and is creating new services for our
customers. These include:
- The Mutually Accelerated Appeals Process (MAAP) initiative is designed
to reduce the time it takes to resolve Coordinated Examination Program (CEP) cases in
Appeals. This initiative will improve the efficiency of the Appeals large case program
and result in increased customer satisfaction for the large case population that Appeals
- Fast Track Mediation (FTM): This is a streamlined process designed to
expedite disputes involving audits, offers in compromise and trust fund recovery
penalties. In this process, appeals officers will serve as mediators to resolve disputes
while cases are still in Compliance. The FTM pilot began on July 1, 2000 in four sites:
Denver, Hartford, Houston and Jacksonville.
- Arbitration: This program is a new alternative dispute resolution initiative
designed to assist taxpayers and Appeals in reaching a settlement when they were
unable to in the normal course of the Appeals process. This program uses a neutral
decision-maker that will reach a binding decision on issues that prevented the taxpayer
and Appeals from reaching a settlement.
- Mediation: This program is an alternative dispute resolution initiative designed
to assist taxpayers and Appeals in reaching a settlement. A non-IRS or Appeals
mediator is used to facilitate negotiations between Appeals and taxpayers when they
were unable to reach a settlement in the normal course of the Appeals process.
- Early Referral: Early referral procedures allow all taxpayers, whose returns are
being examined, to request the transfer of a developed but unagreed issue to Appeals,
while Examination continues to develop other issues in the case. The purpose is to
resolve cases more expeditiously.
For additional information, visit the Appeals Internet Web site at:
At this site there is a section on "Appeals Expectations - Yours and Ours," which
provides mutual commitments for the Appeals process. Taxpayers can also contact an
Appeals Customer Service representative at 1-877-457-5055 for a wide range of
assistance relating to Appeals.
"My staff and I are committed to providing our customers top rate dispute
resolution service," Black said.
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