Mediation – also known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) - can help you if you have an unresolved issue with the IRS or disagree with an IRS decision or action. It’s informal, confidential and voluntary.
An Appeals officer who is trained in mediation techniques works with you and with the IRS employee assigned to your case. Mediators fulfill their role of helping the parties reach an agreement by:
- Facilitating communication between you and the IRS,
- Helping identify core issues or barriers to settlement,
- Helping identify possible settlement terms,
- Providing perspective and encouragement and
- Ensuring a level playing field and mutual respect during the mediation session.
- Voluntary to both parties,
- Nonbinding, meaning each party retains 100% control over whether or not to settle the case. No one, including the mediator, can force either party to do something they don’t agree to do,
- Effective when both parties have a desire to resolve the disputed issue,
- Appropriate when all issues are fully resolved except the issue for which mediation is requested and
- A chance to avoid a lengthy appeal process or costly litigation.
- Required by either party in any instance,
- A replacement for the audit or collection process,
- A process in which the parties in the dispute offer arguments directly to the mediator hoping to “win,”
- Effective if either party believes the only way the dispute will get resolved is if the other party concedes or gives up on its position,
- A time to present new information or raise new issues or
- A chance to try and get just a little better deal or buy more time before IRS closes its case.
Mediation may be right for you if:
- You want to resolve the dispute at the earliest stage of your audit as possible,
- You don’t have many disputed issues,
- You gave the IRS information to support your position and
- The IRS is still considering your case and your issues are unresolved.
Where you go for mediation depends on who is currently managing your case.
My audit issues are unresolved, and I want to settle my case as quickly as possible.
- Individuals, small businesses and self-employed persons.
- Large businesses or businesses/individuals with international interests.
- Tax-exempt organizations and government entities.
If you’re not sure whether the IRS person assigned to your case is an auditor, collection officer or from the IRS Office of Appeals, review this table.
If you need clarification on the above items, direct your questions to the person assigned to your case.