Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Proposed Transfer of IRS Appeals Office Opposed by AICPA

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Proposed Transfer of IRS Appeals Office Opposed by AICPA

Article excerpt

Tax News

In a letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Margaret Richardson, the American Institute of CPAs strongly opposed the proposed transfer of the IRS Office of Appeals to the chief counsel's office. The proposal is part of a reorganization plan called "Reinventing the IRS."

In his letter to Richardson, Harvey L. Coustan, chairman of the AICPA tax executive committee, recognized administrative problems exist in the current arrangement, in which responsibility and control for taxpayer appeals are split between the chief counsel and the commissioner's office. But he said the transfer would have a negative effect, bolstering "a public perception of an administrative system in which no impartial administrative healing is available."

He also said the change would make it more difficult for smaller taxpayers to have an efficient, cost-effective means of settling cases.

"An appeals office that is part of the chief counsel's office will encourage taxpayers to seek legal counsel at a stage in which they often are represented by CPAs under the present structure," Coustan said, adding such a move would create a pretrial atmosphere "less conducive to settlement. …

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