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 (e.g., Appeals Officers, Settlement Officers, Appeals Team Case Leaders, Appeals Tax Computation Specialists, etc.) and employees of other IRS functions, without the taxpayer/representative being given an opportunity to participate in the communication.
It is, however, important to note that not all ex parte communications are prohibited. Congress recognized that Appeals must have some communication (such as communication needed to determine workload demands and obtain workpapers, summaries, and reports for IRS decisions) with other IRS divisions to operate and to minimize additional requests to taxpayers for information already provided. For additional guidance related to the prohibition on ex parte communications, see Revenue Procedure 2012-18.