IRS Rolls Out “Fast Track Settlement” Program For Business Owners and Self-Employed Individuals

An IRS dispute can be a long, stressful, and expensive process. If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to experience an audit or tax dispute you know exactly what we mean. Recently, the IRS has taken steps aimed at making the process less tedious, at least for some taxpayers. This month, the agency announced their rollout of a “fast track” program designed to provide rapid resolution to disputes.

Is this program a good option for taxpayers? First, the facts… reports:

The IRS has announced a nationwide rollout of its “fast track settlement” (FTS) program. Previously, the program was available only in certain specified jurisdictions.

In 2006, the SB/SE division launched the FTS as a pilot program for small businesses and self-employed individuals in 2006. It expanded the pilot program in 2011 to Chicago; Houston; St. Paul, Minn.; Philadelphia; central New Jersey; and San Diego, Laguna Niguel and Riverside, Calif. (IRS Announcement 2011-5)

According to Announcement 2011-5, the FTS program is generally available for cases under the jurisdiction of the SB/SE Division if:

  • Issues are fully developed.
  • The taxpayer has stated a position in writing (or filed a small case request in which the total amount for any tax period is less than $25,000).
  • There are a limited number of contested issues.

Now the IRS says that FTS is available to small businesses and self-employeds around the country. It expedites case resolution through alternative dispute resolution techniques. Thus, it can help avoid formal administrative appeals or lengthy litigation. Audit issues are usually resolved within 60 days, rather than months or years.

So, is the “fast track” program a good option for taxpayers? That will depend on the specific issues involved in the case (please contact us if you’d like to discuss your case).

It is critical to understand when dealing with the IRS, either through this “fast track” program or in any other context, that taking on the agency without an experienced tax attorney on your team is a big mistake. The IRS has thousands of attorneys working for them – so shouldn’t you have an attorney on your team as well?

If you’d like to learn more about the IRS “fast track” program, or if you’d like help resolving your IRS dispute, we’re here to help. Please contact us today to learn more

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