With a shrinking pot of funding and workforce constraints, the IRS may have difficulties offering in-person appeals conferences at the taxpayer’s preferred location. As a result, the IRS appeals office is evaluating two pilot programs:

(1) Virtual appeals conferences: The virtual conference pilot program gives taxpayers and practitioners the option to remotely attend IRS appeals conferences through a web-based screen-sharing platform. So far, the program has received favorable feedback, though the IRS acknowledges that the conferences are not for everyone.

(2) Compliance-staff attendance at Appeals Team Case Leader (ATCL) conferences: This program allows IRS compliance officials who have historically not been present for appeals conferences to attend with technical employees.

The two programs were launched last year and the agency will be seeking external and internal feedback as it works on fine-tuning the pilots.