Appeals is separate and independent from the IRS Examination and Collection functions that make tax assessments and initiate collection actions. Our mission is to resolve tax controversies: Without litigation On a basis which is fair and impartial to both the Government and you, and In a manner that will enhance voluntary compliance and your confidence in the integrity and efficiency of the Service Independence and impartiality are our most important core values, because our independence protects our ability to make objective and impartial decisions. We safeguard the fairness of our tax system. You aren’t required to request an appeal before going to court, but the appeals process is less formal, less costly and isn’t subject to complex rules of evidence or procedure. In addition, you don’t give up the right to go court by coming to Appeals. We also offer services through our mediation programs. These programs are designed to help you resolve your dispute at the earliest possible stage in the audit or collection process What Ex Parte Means to You In judicial proceedings, the term “ex parte” refers to a one-sided or partisan point of view received on behalf of or from one side or party only. Within the IRS, an ex parte communication is a communication between an Appeals employee and employees of other IRS functions—without you or your representative being given an opportunity to participate in the communication. Reinforcing our independence, certain ex parte communications are prohibited. For additional guidance related to the prohibition on ex parte communications, see Revenue Procedure 2012-18. Additional Information about Appeals If you have a dispute with the IRS and are thinking about appealing their decision, go to Considering an Appeal for information on whether Appeals may be the place for you. If you’ve decided to request an appeal, go to Requesting an Appeal to learn more about the process. For information on our policies, please refer to the Fact Sheet – IRS Independent Office of Appeals PDF and the related Frequently Asked Questions PDF. For information on the structure of Appeals, refer to Appeals Functions & Contacts PDF .