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