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Assessment

IRS Appeals Seeks Input on Videoconferencing Before IRM Update

IR 2022-154 (8/18/2022)

The IRS Independent Office of Appeals is seeking public input on best practices for conducting videoconferences with tax professionals and taxpayers who have appeals pending.

“Appeals’ mission is to resolve federal tax disputes without litigation in a way that’s fair and impartial to taxpayers and the government,” the IRS said.

As described by the office, Appeals offers conferences by phone or video, or in person, and can also resolve a dispute through correspondence. Generally, the choice is left to the taxpayer or their representative.

Responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Appeals expanded access to videoconferences, which means taxpayers can be seen, heard, and able to visually share documents. “Videoconferences will remain an option in Appeals,” the IRS said.

In March 2021, Appeals issued interim guidance related to videoconferencing. It details employee responsibilities for scheduling and conducting a videoconference, procedures for verifying authorized participants, and technology requirements. In addition, the guidance includes basic recommendations for creating a professional meeting environment.

“As Appeals prepares to update the Internal Revenue Manual with permanent guidelines for conducting videoconferences and updates to the videoconferencing platform technology (Microsoft Teams), they welcome input from taxpayers and tax professionals on how videoconference technology can best be used in a taxpayer’s Appeals hearing,” the IRS said.

The period for public comment runs through November 16. Comments should be sent to ap.taxpayer.experience@irs.gov.

 

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