No.  The IRS Office of Appeals (“Appeals”) offers two alternatives for taxpayers unsatisfied the result produced by the Appeals process but unwilling to bear the cost of litigation.

A taxpayer may request Post Appeals Mediation (“PAM”) by submitting a written statement to Appeals detailing his or her position on a specific disputed issue.  If Appeals accepts the taxpayer’s request, an Appeals mediator will be assigned with the goal to reach a resolution within 60-90 days after acceptance.  Taxpayers may recruit, and pay for, a co-mediator for the session.  However, PAM is unavailable for some issues, and, as the purpose of the mediation is to facilitate a mutually agreeable resolution between the taxpayer and Appeals, the mediator does not possess settlement authority.

Similarly, the Appeals Arbitration Program is designed to resolve factual issues after settlement negotiations have failed and no unresolved issues besides those for which arbitration is being requested remain.  Parties must enter into arbitration by mutual agreement and can select an Appeals arbitrator or one from a local or national dispute resolution organization.  The arbitration session should take place within 90 days of the date of the agreement, with the arbitrator’s report due 30 days following the arbitration session.  Appeals will then prepare a closing agreement to memorialize the resolution of the case.

If you have any interest in or questions regarding these programs, please contact a Rosenberg Martin Greenberg attorney at 410.727.6600.