MLR

Program may bring fast resolution to IRS disputes

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The Fast Track Settlement program is now available nationwide.

Fast Track Settlement (FTS) is designed to help small businesses and self-employed individuals who are under examination by the IRS’s Small Business/Self Employed Division to more quickly settle their differences with the IRS.

Originally launched as a pilot program for small businesses and self-employed individuals in September 2006, FTS was expanded in January 2011 to specified cities and areas: Chicago, Ill.; Houston, Texas; St. Paul, Minn.; Philadelphia, Pa.; central New Jersey; and San Diego, Laguna Niguel and Riverside, Calif.

While not all disputes with the IRS are eligible for consideration, the FTS program is designed to expedite case resolution. It uses alternative dispute resolution techniques to save time and avoid a formal administrative appeal or lengthy litigation. As a result, audit issues can usually be resolved within 60 days rather than months or years.

The IRS emphasizes that taxpayers choosing this option lose none of their rights because they still have the right to appeal if the FTS process is unsuccessful.

Either the taxpayer or the IRS examination representative may initiate Fast Track for eligible cases. The goal is to complete cases within 60 days of acceptance of the application.