Fast Track Settlement is now available to small businesses and self-employed individuals nationwide. This program allows these taxpayers to settle un-agreed issues more quickly by allowing these issues to be reviewed simultaneously by appeals and examinations. (The appeals officer will act in the role of a mediator). Fully developed un-agreed issues may be reviewed by appeals before a 30 day letter regarding a proposed adjustment/deficiency and right to appeal is issued. The goal is that these cases will be settled within 60 days of acceptance into the Fast Track Settlement (FTS) program.
If the taxpayer does not agree with FTS, then the taxpayer still has normal appeal rights available to him or her. The main objective of this program is to promote more efficiency and timeliness into the examination process. Appeals Officers typically have more experience and flexibility in decision-making than a normal examination agent (they serve to act as a neutral party in the IRS and weigh the “hazards of litigation.”) Therefore, the case is more likely to reach a settlement in a timely manner that is both agreeable to the IRS and the taxpayer.