Independent Office of Appeals Customer Satisfaction Surveys


The Independent Office of Appeals conducts yearly surveys of customer satisfaction. The surveys are conducted by an independent, third-party market survey vendor via online and telephonic platforms. Cases closed within the fiscal year are randomly sampled for inclusion.

One of the survey questions asks about the length of the appeal process. This time can vary based on several factors, such as the type of case (workstream), the facts of the case, the complexity of the issues and other legal considerations. We refer to the timeframe between when a case is first received in Appeals from Compliance and the date the case is closed by the Appeals Processing Section as the “non-docketed cycle time.” Fiscal year Information on the average non-docketed cycle time for each of Appeals’ workstreams can be found below. Our Customer Satisfaction Survey captures your satisfaction regarding:

  • Independence of Appeals
  • Listening to your concerns
  • Application of law to facts in your case
  • Clarity of explanations for adjustments to your tax liability
  • Length of appeals process
  • Professionalism of Appeals person

For Fiscal Year 2019, Appeals Overall Customer Satisfaction was 65 percent satisfied, 17 percent neutral and 17 percent dissatisfied.

Highlights of the Fiscal Year 2019 customer satisfaction survey are:

  • Was the Appeals Officer professional – 94 percent (Satisfaction)
  • Whether or not you agree with the decision, did you understand why the Office of Appeals reached the decision it did in your case? – 84 percent (Satisfaction)
  • Did the Appeals Office consider your side of the dispute? – 83 percent (Satisfaction)
  • Did the Appeals Officer explain how they are separate from the rest of the IRS? – 79 percent (Satisfaction)
  • Would you say the time it took the Office of Appeals to work the case was appropriate? – 63 percent (Satisfaction)

Appeals Closed Non-Docketed Cycle Time (days) by Workstream- total lapse days from the date the case is received into Appeals from Compliance to the date the Case is closed by the Appeals Processing Section:

Appeals FY 2019
Non-Docketed Closed Cycle Time (days)  
Collection Due Process 258
Offers-in-Compromise 242
Innocent Spouse 379
Penalty Appeals 167
Coordinated Industry Cases 838
Industry Cases 438
Examination 265
Other 80
Overall 229

Appeals’ Workstreams (type of case)

  • Collection Due Process (CDP) is a case where a taxpayer requested a hearing with an independent Appeals Settlement Officer in response to a notice of Federal tax lien or notice of intent to levy. The CDP hearing provides the taxpayer an opportunity, early in the collection process, to work with an independent hearing officer to resolve s gross assets, gross receipts, operating entities, industries and/or foreign assets. A CIC taxpayer may appeal the findings of an examination conducted by the IRS.
  • An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the federal government that settles a tax liability for payment of less than the full amount owed. The IRS may reject a taxpayer’s offer, and the taxpayer may request that Appeals review and decide whether the offer should be accepted.

  • An Innocent Spouse (INNSP) case in Appeals is one in which the taxpayer requested and was denied innocent spouse relief by the IRS or when the non-requesting spouse disagrees with IRS determination to grant innocent spouse relief to the spouse requesting relief. An Innocent Spouse is a taxpayer who filed a joint return with a spouse or ex-spouse and may apply for relief of tax, interest and penalties if he/she meets specific requirements.

  • A Penalty Appeals (PENAP) case is one in which the taxpayer requests abatement of a civil penalty that was assessed before the taxpayer was given an opportunity to dispute the penalty. The taxpayer may submit a written request for abatement of the penalty, and if the request is denied, the taxpayer may appeal.

  • A Coordinated Industry Case (CIC) designation may be assigned to a large corporate taxpayer based on factors such as the taxpayer’s gross assets, gross receipts, operating entities, industries and/or foreign assets. A CIC taxpayer may appeal the findings of an examination conducted by the IRS.

  • An Industry Case (IC) is any type of large corporate taxpayer, Large Business & International, case that is not designated as a Coordinated Industry Case (CIC). An Industry Case taxpayer may appeal the findings of an examination conducted by the IRS.

  • An Examination (EXAM) case in Appeals involves issues in dispute by the taxpayer relating to income tax, employment tax, excise tax, estate tax, gift tax or tax-exempt status. The cases generally involve appeals by individuals or small business of a determination by the IRS.

  • Other category — Includes cases considered by Appeals involving issues related to Abatement of Interest, Collection Appeals Program, Office of Professional Responsibility, Freedom of Information Act, Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, Collection Due Process Timeliness Determination and other miscellaneous penalties.