The IRS appeals division has gotten a facelift. As part of the complete IRS reorganization, the appeals division will now work more closely with the new IRS operating divisions and will arm appeals officers with greater settlement authority.
National Appeals Chief Daniel Black is trying to organize as many as 300 officers who will be handling the onslaught of appeals that has been bottlenecking the Service since a 1998 ruling gave more taxpayers the right to a hearing before an appeals officer in certain collection actions. In fiscal 2000 there have been 8,000 requests for such appeals, and that number is expected to explode to 23,000 requests in fiscal 2001.
In total, the IRS handled approximately 53,000 appeals last year and reached settlement in 90% of the cases. Information about the appeals process is available on the IRS web site.