The IRS is proposing updates on the rules regarding ex parte communications between the Appeals Office and other IRS representatives and departments. The IRS stated: “[t]hese rules are necessary to ensure that the Office of Appeals remains an independent and flexible vehicle for settling audit and collection-related disputes between taxpayers and the IRS.” The proposed rules are set out in Notice 2011-62.
Basically, if the Appeals Office is going to communicate with another division or department within the IRS, the taxpayer, or the taxpayer’s representative, must be given an opportunity to participate in that communication. As far as I’m concerned, any strengthening of this rule is a good change. However, it seems to me that there are far too many exceptions to the proposed ex parte communications rules, almost to the point that the exceptions swallow the rule.
If you agree, or if you have other comments you wish to submit, contact the IRS by August 18, 2011. Visit the IRS Newsroom for mailing, emailing, and hand delivery instructions.