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Fast Track Settlement - Large Business & International

Fast Track Settlement offers Large Business and International taxpayers an opportunity to resolve tax disputes at the earliest possible stage in the examination process. Once your application is accepted, the goal is resolution within 120 days.


With FTS, a trained mediator from the IRS Office of Appeals is assigned to help you and the IRS reach an agreement on the disputed issue(s). You retain full control over every decision you make during the FTS process. In addition to using mediation techniques to facilitate settlement discussions, the Appeals mediator may offer settlement proposals and use Appeals’ settlement authority, if needed, to resolve the dispute.  Either you or the IRS may agree to or deny the Appeals mediator’s settlement proposal.


When considering FTS, consider what might happen if your case is not settled. Ask yourself:

  • Am I prepared for what could be a lengthy appeal?
  • What is my risk that litigation would be unsuccessful, and what would the consequences be?

FTS does not eliminate or replace existing dispute resolution options, including your opportunity to request a hearing before Appeals or a conference with an IRS manager. If you cannot resolve your dispute through FTS, you still retain all otherwise applicable appeal rights.


If a resolution is reached through FTS, your overall IRS experience is substantially faster. The benefits of settlement over litigation include:

• Speed

• Cost

• Flexibility

• Control

• Reduced Risk


LB&I FTS is available for both factual and legal disputes. Issues involving legal interpretations generally require consideration of the hazards of litigation. For these issues, the Appeals mediator will first work toward an agreement that falls within an acceptable range as determined by an analysis of the litigating hazards. The Appeals mediator will analyze the hazards of litigation just as in the traditional Appeals process. Once an acceptable agreement has been reached, Appeals facilitates the settlement. 

 

Most factual issues can be resolved within LB&I’s existing resolution authority through mediation, without requiring settlement authority. For factual issues not requiring settlement authority, the mediator will work toward a mediated agreement between the taxpayer and LB&I, and Appeals will generally not draft or execute a closing agreement.


Certain cases and issues are not eligible for LB&I FTS:

  • Issues designated for litigation or under consideration for designation for litigation
  • The facts and circumstances involving the disputed issue are not sufficiently developed by the taxpayer and/or the LB&I examiner, making mediation premature
  • Issues for which the taxpayer has requested the simultaneous Appeals/Competent Authority procedure described in section 8 of Rev. Proc. 2002-52, or the corresponding provision of any successor guidance
  • “Whipsaw” issues, or issues for which resolution with respect to one party might result in inconsistent treatment without the participation of the other party
  • Other issues listed in section 3 of Rev. Proc. 2003-40

To apply for the LB&I FTS program after receiving Form 5701, Notice of Proposed Adjustment, submit the following to the IRS auditor:

  1. Form 14017, Application for Fast Track Settlement, and
  2. A written statement detailing your position on the disputed issue(s).

If you decide FTS is right for you AND your FTS application is approved, there are ways to prepare for a successful mediation.


For more information on the LB&I FTS program, refer to:

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 05-Feb-2014