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IRS Implements New Fast Track

IRS Implements New Fast Track

Small business owners and self-employed individuals who must resolve factual or legal issues between themselves and the Internal Revenue Service can use the Fast Track Settlement program in the IRS Small Business/Self-Employee division.

 

How Fast-Track works

With Fast Track Settlement, an independent appeals mediator will try to help you and the IRS agree on controversial issues. The appeal mediator will facilitate settlement discussions and may provide settlement proposals.

Because Fast Track Settlement is voluntary, the appeals mediator cannot compel you or the IRS to participate in or accept a proposed agreement. You retain control over the decisions you make regarding your case. If you cannot resolve your dispute through Fast Track Settlement, you still have the right to request a traditional call or conference with an IRS official.


What's the point of the Fast Track?

The goal is to resolve applications accepted in the fast-track settlement program within 60 days. According to the IRS, settlement tends to be faster, cheaper, less risky, and more flexible than litigation.

The fast-track settlement program is designed to review or collect cases involving questions of fact and law, in general, regardless of the dollar amount. The program is available after the problem has been fully developed, that is, after receiving all necessary technical advice, evaluation reports, and other documents. Before an issue can be admitted into the Fast-Tracks settlement program, the taxpayer must have worked with the IRS auditor and their manager to resolve it.

Not all cases are eligible for a fast track: frivolous problems, cases where the taxpayer has not cooperated, and correspondence checks are normally excluded. The IRS must explain why a case was not accepted, but the decision is not subject to judicial review or appeal.


How to apply for fast track?

Taxpayers and IRS examiners or group managers can initiate the fast-track process, and both parties must agree to participate. To apply, the contractor or self-employed person and the examiner must together complete Form 14017, "application for fast track settlement." The taxpayer also presents a written statement outlining its position on the controversial issues.

Once the IRS accepts a case, a qualified IRS broker will help the taxpayer and the agency come to an agreement. Taxpayers can hire an authorized representative or represent themselves. The mediator can propose an agreement or examine the proposals of both parties.

A self-employed or business owner can accept or reject any proposal and can withdraw from the process at any time. The fast-track settlement program does not eliminate other dispute resolution options, including the right to an appeal hearing. In addition to small businesses and the self-employed, some large businesses and government and tax-exempt entities are eligible for separate fast-track settlement programs.


Advantages of the fast track 

Choosing a Fast Track may involve:

  • Faster case resolution

  • More flexibility

  • Reduced costs

When considering the Fast Track process, think about what might happen if your case is not resolved:

  • Be prepared for a long appeal process

  • Evaluate the risk and consequences if your litigation fails.

 

Which Fast Track program is right for you depends on your case.

  • Government entities and tax-exempt organizations: Fast track provides a means for tax-exempt government agencies and organizations to resolve tax disputes during the audit process. The aim is to resolve these cases within 60 days of accepting the Fast Track request.

  • Individuals with international interests: Fast track gives people with international interests the opportunity to resolve tax disputes during the audit process. Where you apply for the Fast Track deal depends on which IRS office is handling your case.

  • Large companies or businesses with international interests: Fast track settlement gives large businesses, corporations, and individuals with international interests the opportunity to resolve tax disputes during the audit process. The aim is to resolve these cases within 120 days of the date the Fast Track request was accepted.

  • Self-employed, small businesses or individuals: Fast track settlement provides a way for small businesses, the self-employed, and individuals to resolve tax disputes during the audit process. The goal is to resolve these cases within 60 days of accepting the Fast Track request.

  • Taxpayers with collections issues: Fast track mediation – collection allows taxpayers to resolve disputes over offers in compromise or trust fund collection penalties early in the collection process. The aim is to resolve these cases within 40 days of accepting the Fast Track request.


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