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Fast Track Settlement - Small Business/Self-Employed

Fast Track Settlement offers Small Business/Self-Employed 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 60 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.


Read the General Mediation Information page if you want to learn more about how mediation works and the role of the Appeals mediator.


For your case to be considered for FTS, you must first try to resolve all issues with the IRS. This means working cooperatively with your IRS auditor, followed by a conference with the auditor’s manager, before seeking the services of an Appeals mediator.


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

 

Certain cases and issues are not eligible for FTS:

  • Collection cases
  • Form 1040 taxpayers who have no specific IRS person assigned to their case, such as with a correspondence examination case considered solely by an IRS Campus/Service Center site
  • Frivolous issues, such as those listed in Notice 2010-33 or successor guidance
  • Other issues listed in Announcement 2011-5

To apply for the SB/SE FTS program, send your IRS auditor the following:

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

Your auditor will help you prepare the Form 14017 and provide you with copies of pertinent work papers so that you can prepare your written position on the disputed issue(s).


For a summary of the program, view this short video: SB/SE Fast Track Settlement Process (video).  


Your auditor is your best source for information about the FTS program.


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 FTS program, refer to:

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 05-Feb-2014