As part of its continuing guidance to taxpayers and practitioners about how its resumption of activities following the government shutdown is impacting pending matters, the Internal Revenue Service has published Frequently Asked Questions (entitled “Appeals Resumption FAQs“) regarding cases pending in IRS Appeals. These FAQs provide information regarding the shutdown’s effect on Appeals hearings, Appeals correspondence, and communications with Appeals Officers. The text of those FAQs follows:
1. How soon will Appeals hearings resume?
Once Appeals Officers have reviewed mail, voice messages, the status of their assigned inventory and completed administrative tasks to restart operations, they will begin to re-establish contact and schedule hearings. This process will take several business days to complete.
2. My Appeals hearing was cancelled prior to the shutdown. When will it be rescheduled?
After completing the assessment of their assigned inventory, your Appeals Officer will reach out to you to reschedule your hearing. It will take several business days before your Appeals Officer is able to reach out to their assigned taxpayers.
3. My Appeals hearing was scheduled for one of the days when the government was shutdown. I have not heard from my Appeals Officer. What should I do?
Since your Appeals Officer was furloughed during the shutdown, they were prohibited from performing their duties. Once your Appeals Officer has completed a review of their inventory, they will reach out to you to reschedule your hearing. This process will take several business days to complete.
4. I left a message for my Appeals Officer but have not received a call back.
Since your Appeals Officer was furloughed during the shutdown, they were prohibited from performing their duties. Upon their return, your Appeals Officer will assess the status of their inventory. Your Appeals Officer will retrieve their messages and return calls, but it may take several business days before he or she is able to reach out. If you have not heard after several days, place another call to the Appeals Officer.
5. When can I call my Appeals Officer to discuss my case?
Each Appeals Officer will reach out to their assigned taxpayers after they review and assess the status of their assigned inventory. This may take several days. In the meantime, you can reach out to your Appeals Officer during normal business hours.
6. I received a correspondence from my Appeals Officer giving me a deadline to respond. I was unable to respond due to the shutdown. How should I proceed?
If you have additional information, you should send the information to your Appeals Officer immediately and call them to discuss options. Your Appeals Officer will also be reaching out to you to re-establish contact before they take additional actions on your case. At that time, they will discuss any information still needed. It will take several days for your Appeals Officer to contact all of their assigned taxpayers.
7. I received a Statutory Notice of Deficiency during the shutdown. What should I do?
On cases where Appeals issued a Statutory Notice of Deficiency, the notice sets forth the time parameters you have to petition the Tax Court if you want to protest the adjustments. Please review this carefully. If you agree with the adjustments, you can sign and return it to the Appeals Officer. If you feel you received the Notice of Deficiency in error, you should contact the Appeals Officer immediately.
8. I requested an Appeals hearing but have not heard from Appeals.
If you submitted a request for Appeals consideration on your case, contact the IRS office that offered the Appeals request for an update on the status. If the IRS office states that your request was sent to the Office of Appeals and you have not received anything from Appeals after 60 days after the government has reopened, call Appeals Customer Service at 559-233-1267.
9. I filed a petition with the Tax Court during the government shutdown. What happens next?
We recognize it will take time for the Tax Court to work through its backlog of petitions needed to be served on the IRS. You should check with the Tax Court’s website for the latest updates and news from the court.
10. I received a Form 872, Consent to Extend the Time to Assess Tax, from my Appeals Officer. It was mailed prior to the shutdown, but I received it after the shutdown started. What are my options?
The Form 872, Consent to Extend the Time to Assess Tax, was solicited to allow additional time for you and your Appeals Officer to address issues still open in the Appeals hearing. Included with Form 872 you also received Publication 1035. Publication 1035 provides guidance and explains your options. If you have additional questions beyond those in the publication, you should contact your assigned Appeals Officer. Your Appeals Officer will also be reaching out to you to discuss the process, but this may take several business days to accomplish.
For more up-to-date coverage from Tax Controversy and Financial Crimes Report, please subscribe by clicking here.