Business Owners Are Not Always Responsible Parties under Ohio Law Relating to Sales Tax Liabilities

    The tax attorneys at Nardone Limited in Columbus, Ohio, routinely advise taxpayers about their potential personal liability relating to liabilities owed by a business, as part of our tax controversy work. The Ohio Department of Taxation has several tools available to collect delinquent taxes, including conducting a trust fund investigation of responsible persons. When the Ohio Department of Taxation issues an assessment to an individual relating to taxes owed by a business, it is important that you understand your rights and obligations. See our prior articles: Trust Fund Liability at the State and Federal levels and Personal Liability for a Business’s Failure to Pay Ohio Sales Tax.

    Most companies operate as a business entity that shields owners from personal liability for the company’s obligations. But, a major exception exists to this rule, commonly referred to as trust fund liability. If an employer fails to pay certain taxes on behalf of their employees, or fails to collect and pay Ohio sales tax, then under Ohio law, the Ohio Department of Taxation has the right to collect monies due from certain individual’s personal assets. The Ohio Department of Taxation will send a Notice of Personal Assessment to the individual for the amounts owed by the business. The individual then has the opportunity file a petition for reassessment and ultimately present their case as to why they are not a responsible person, under Ohio law.

Who May be a Responsible Party for Sales Tax Liabilities Owed on Behalf of a Business?

    Under R.C. 5739.33, if a business fails to collect and pay the necessary Ohio sales tax, then any of its employees having control or supervision of, or charged with the responsibility of filing returns and making payments, or any of its officers, members, managers, or trustees who are responsible for the execution of the corporation's, limited liability company's, or business trust's fiscal responsibilities, may be personally liable for the failure. Generally, the Ohio Department of Taxation will assess the individual business owners for monies owed by the business. But, simply because an individual has an ownership interest in a business does not necessarily mean they will be considered a responsible party under Ohio law.

Ohio Board of Tax Appeals Finds Minority Shareholder is Not a Responsible Party under R.C.  5739.33.

    In Peggy E. Gerard v. Roger W. Tray, Tax Commissioner of Ohio, the business’s majority shareholder had control over practically every aspect of the business. The petitioner in the case, Peggy Gerard (“Peggy”), a minority shareholder, would prepare the business’s sales tax returns. Then, Peggy would provide the sales tax returns to the majority shareholder for signature.   

    On a few occasions, Peggy mailed the sales tax return, with payment, and the majority shareholder became very upset that she had mailed the sales tax return with payment. The majority shareholder then sent a check to another creditor, which caused the check relating to the sales tax liabilities to bounce. When Peggy confronted the majority shareholder regarding the bounced check, the majority shareholder advised that the majority shareholder had full authority over the business’s payments to creditors. Thus, since the business was no longer meeting its sales tax payment requirements, Peggy advised that she no longer would sign checks. As a result, the majority shareholder fired Peggy.

    Ultimately, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals found that an individual who is at best, a de facto officer, who had no control over filing and paying the business’s sales tax, and whose check writing authority was limited to a second signature with another officer’s signature as primary, is not responsible for the business’s sales tax obligation. Thus, even when a minority shareholder has check signing authority and periodically filed Ohio sales tax returns, the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals determined that the minority shareholder was not personally responsible for unpaid sales tax when the majority shareholder had authority over the business’s payments to creditors.

    At the end of the day, whether the Ohio Department of Taxation will hold an individual personally responsible for a business’s sales tax liabilities will depend upon the specific facts and circumstances of each individual’s involvement with the business’s finances and the business’s sales tax preparation and filing. But, simply because an individual has an ownership interest in a business does not necessary mean that the Ohio Department of Taxation will determine that the individual is a responsible person under Ohio law.

Conclusion

    Nardone Limited frequently represents individuals and businesses in federal, state, and local civil tax matters, including appeals. If you or your business have been contacted by the Ohio Department of Taxation, or are struggling with tax liabilities, you should contact one of our tax attorneys today. We will thoroughly review your case to determine your potential personal liability, as well as what options and alternatives are available to you.

April 18, 2018

IRS “Direct Pay” Crash Prompts Extension

     IRS logo

    As stated yesterday in our update, the IRS’ website was unavailable to accept payments through their “Direct Pay” system.   The payment site was back online around 5 p.m. yesterday, and the IRS announced soon after that they would be providing taxpayers an additional day to file and pay their taxes.  The outage was said to be related to a hardware issue. Taxpayers do not need to do anything to receive the extra time, the IRS said.

    “This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”  Read the IRS’ official news release here: IRS provides additional day to file and pay for taxpayers through Wednesday, April 18; IRS processing systems back online

    The IRS reports that last year, more than 5 million tax returns were filed on the deadline day.  If you are not ready to send your taxes by tonight’s deadline, you can still request an extension.  Even the White House says President Trump has filed an extension for his 2017 tax returns, like many Americans with complex returns.  Click here for information on requesting a filing extension.

April 17, 2018

IRS’ Inability to Accept Payments in a Timely Manner for Payment of Income Taxes

    

IRS "Direct Pay" Unavailable
The IRS' "Direct Pay" page redirects to this message



    You have to love the IRS and our U.S. federal government.  We have clients trying to make payments for their federal personal income taxes.  And, those clients are trying to use the IRS’ “Direct Pay With Bank Account”.  This allows the IRS to obtain the funds immediately and allows the clients to obtain verification of payment immediately.  Yet, when you go to the IRS website, on the date that the taxes are actually due, the IRS’ website indicates that the service is currently not available.  The IRS apologizes for the service not being available. 

    Only the IRS would have the main website unavailable to accept payments on the date that they payments are due.  As everyone knows, including the IRS, many people pay their taxes today, online, and through the “Direct Pay With Bank Account” option.  Yet, the IRS tells us that it is currently not available. 

    The direct pay option is not the only way to make a payment.  But, unfortunately, it is one of the few options that will not cost extra. Paying with a credit card through the IRS' site will cost somewhere around two percent of the payment amount, starting at $2.50.  Or, if you used a software to file your taxes it is possible to pay through that software. 

    Look forward to receiving and explanation from the IRS on why the IRS’ “Direct Pay With Bank Account” is not available on the biggest day of the year, when it comes to paying individual income taxes. 

April 12, 2018

Personal Liability for a Business’s Failure to Pay Ohio Sales Tax

     Ohio dept of taxation

    The Ohio Department of Taxation has several tools available to collect delinquent taxes, including conducting a trust fund investigation of responsible persons. When the Ohio Department of Taxation issues an individual an assessment relating to taxes owed by a business, it is important that you understand your rights and obligations. As tax attorneys in Columbus, Ohio, Nardone Limited routinely advises taxpayers about their potential personal liability relating to liabilities owed by a business as part of our tax controversy work. See our prior article, Trust Fund Liability: The IRS and Ohio Department of Taxation May Hold Business Owners Personally Responsible. Most companies operate as a business entity that shields owners from personal liability for the company’s obligations. But, a major exception exists to this rule, commonly referred to as trust fund liability. If an employer fails to pay certain taxes on behalf of their employees, or fails to collect and pay Ohio sales tax, then under Ohio law, the Ohio Department of Taxation has the right to collect monies due from certain individual’s personal assets. The Ohio Department will send a Notice of Personal Assessment to the individual for the amounts owed by the business. The individual then has the opportunity file a Petition for Reassessment and ultimately present their case as to why they are not a responsible person, under Ohio law.

Certain Employees and Officers May be Personally Responsible

    Under R.C. 5739.33, if a business fails to collect and pay the necessary Ohio sales tax, then any of its employees having control or supervision of, or charged with the responsibility of filing returns and making payments, or any of its officers, members, managers, or trustees who are responsible for the execution of the corporation's, limited liability company's, or business trust's fiscal responsibilities, may be personally liable for the failure. The Ohio Department of Taxation determines whether a person has control and supervision by examining a number of factors, so it is advisable that you consult with a professional in determining potential personal liability relating to a business’s failure to properly collect and pay the necessary Ohio sales tax.

Ohio Supreme Court Case Holds that an Individual Must have Specific Connection to Filing Sales Tax Returns and Making Sales Tax Payments

    Simply being an employee or an officer of a business is not enough. Rather, there must be a connection between the individual and the business’s sales tax filings and payments. In Weiss v. Porterfield, Virginia Weiss (“Weiss”) was an attorney who filed the articles of incorporation for Mel-Deb Furniture Co. on November 14, 1966. 27 Ohio St.2d 117, 271 N.E.2d 792 (1971). Weiss was then elected as a director and secretary of the corporation. The corporation ultimately failed to file any sales tax returns or make any sales tax payments from the time it was incorporated until it filed bankruptcy. See Weiss at 117.  The Ohio Tax Commissioner ultimately issued sales tax assessments against all of the corporation’s officers based upon R.C. 5739.33. Further, the Tax Commissioner denied Weiss’s request for reassessment and Weiss ultimately appealed the Tax Commissioner’s decision. The Ohio Board of Tax Appeals then reversed the Tax Commissioner’s decision, finding that Weiss was not a member of the class of officers to which R.C. 5739.33 applied. The case then went to the Ohio Supreme Court. See Weiss at 117.

    The Ohio Supreme Court held that officers and employees are personally liable when they have control or supervision of, or are charged with, the responsibility of filing tax returns and making payments. See Weiss at 118. The Court found that Weiss was an individual who was director and secretary of corporation, however, Weiss’s duties were in no way connected with the preparation and filing of returns, and the payment of Ohio sales taxes. See Weiss at 121. As a result, Weiss was not subject to a personal assessment for the corporation’s failure to file Ohio sales tax returns and make the necessary Ohio sales tax payments. See Weiss at 121.

Factors to Determine if an Individual’s Duties Are Connected to Sales Tax Filings and Payments

    To determine whether an individual’s duties are connected to sales tax filings and payments, the Ohio Department of Taxation will look at various factors. The factors include whether the individual: (i) prepared sales tax returns; (ii) signed sales tax returns; (iii) filed sales tax returns; (iv) worked with external accountants to prepare and file sales tax returns; (v) had check writing authority; and (vi) had control over the business’s finances, including authorizing payments to creditors. Ultimately, the determination of whether an individual is personally liable for a business’s Ohio sales tax liabilities will be based upon the specific facts and circumstances of each case.

Conclusion

    An individual must clearly present the necessary facts to the Department to show that the individual was not involved, in any way, with a business’s sales tax filings and payments, to ultimately avoid a personal assessment for a business’ failure to pay Ohio sales tax. Further, an individual should provide detail regarding the individual’s specific role, if any, in the business’s finances, including what type of authority the individual had when it came to business financial decisions.

    Nardone Limited frequently represents individuals and businesses in federal, state, and local civil tax matters, including appeals. If you or your business have been contacted by the Ohio Department of Taxation, or are struggling with tax liabilities, you should contact one of our tax attorneys today. We will thoroughly review your case to determine your potential personal liability, as well as what options and alternatives are available to you.

 

April 05, 2018

Trust-Fund Liability: The IRS and Ohio Department of Taxation May Hold Business Owners Personally Responsible

    As tax attorneys in Columbus, Ohio, Nardone Limited routinely advises taxpayers about their potential personal liability relating to liabilities owed by a business as part of our tax controversy work. When an IRS revenue officer contacts you or your business, it is important that you understand your rights and obligations. The IRS has broad authority and tools available to collect delinquent taxes, including conducting a trust-fund investigation of responsible persons. Most companies operate as a business entity that shields owners from personal liability for the company’s obligations. But, a major exception exists to this rule, commonly referred to as trust-fund liability. If an employer fails to pay certain taxes on behalf of their employees, the IRS and the Ohio Department of Taxation have the right to collect monies due from an owner’s personal assets. This article is the first in a series discussing trust-fund liability taxes at the state and federal levels.

What Monies are Subject to Trust-Fund Liability?

    Amounts subject to trust-fund liability consist of money withheld from an employee’s wages for the purposes of paying their income tax, social security, and Medicare taxes. An employer must withhold the money in trust on the government’s behalf until the funds are paid at both the federal and state level. The most common taxes subjected to trust-fund liability are taxes associated with employment, however, other types of taxes may be included, such as fuel taxes, sales taxes, and excise taxes.

Trust-Fund Liability at the Federal Level

    At the federal level, an employer must pay withheld funds to the U.S. Treasury through the Federal Tax Deposit System. Internal Revenue Code §6672, known as the trust-fund recovery penalty or the “100% penalty,” subjects the individuals considered responsible for the collection and payment of withholding taxes to personal liability for the total amount of taxes that should have been withheld from employees. But, the IRS will only impose personal liability if two conditions are met: (i) the party can be held responsible for failing to withhold the taxes and (ii) the responsible party’s act leading to the failure to collect the taxes was willful. A responsible party’s act is generally considered willful when they know that the taxes are due and choose to use the funds for some other purpose. If the IRS believes that an individual is responsible, an IRS revenue officer will contact that individual to begin proceedings to collect the unpaid trust-fund liabilities. We will be discussing what it means to be willful and responsible under federal law in subsequent articles.

Trust-Fund Liability at the State Level

     At the state level, Ohio trust-fund liability is far more stringent than its federal counterpart, removing the willful requirement, and imposing interest and penalties. Moreover, the failure of an employer to withhold or remit taxes on behalf of an employee does not relieve the employee from liability for the tax. But, Ohio does have a safe harbor provision, protecting employers whose failure to withhold was based on the employer's good faith reliance on an employee's statement as to his liability. Ohio Rev. Code §5747.07(E)(2).

    Under Ohio Adm. Code §5703-7-15, any employee of a corporation having control, supervision, or the responsibility of paying the state trust-fund tax may be held personally liable for failing to do so. Subject to a few exceptions, this also extends to officers of the corporation who own more than 50% of the ownership interest in the corporation, regardless of any attempt to delegate responsibility. Under Ohio Rev. Code §5747.07, the law holds those officers and employees personally liable for the unpaid withholding tax liability, including penalties and interest. The Ohio Department of Taxation determines whether a person has control and supervision by examining a number of factors, so it is advisable that you consult with a professional in determining potential personal liability under state trust-fund liability taxes.

Conclusion

    While this article addresses trust-fund liability generally, the next few articles will discuss personal liability for responsible parties at the state and federal level in more detail. Nardone Limited frequently represents individuals and businesses in federal, state, and local civil tax matters, including appeals. If you or your business have been contacted by an IRS revenue officer or the Ohio Department of Taxation, or are struggling with tax liabilities, you should contact one of our tax attorneys today. We will thoroughly review your case to determine your potential personal liability, as well as what options and alternatives are available to you.

January 31, 2018

Ohio’s Tax Amnesty Program - Upcoming Deadline

      OTA

     Our tax attorneys at Nardone Limited would like to remind everybody regarding Ohio’s Tax Amnesty Program and the upcoming deadline of February 15, 2018. Applications, including the delinquent tax returns and payments, must be filed with the Ohio Department of Taxation by February 15, 2018. Please see our prior article: Ohio Department of Taxation Offers 2018 Tax Amnesty and Voluntary Disclosure Program for more information.

Questions? Contact Us

     The tax attorneys at Nardone Limited routinely represent businesses and individuals in state and federal tax issues, including federal tax collection alternative resolutions. If you are dealing with a local, federal or state tax issue, you should contact an experienced tax attorney today. Nardone Limited’s tax attorneys and professionals have vast experience representing clients before the Ohio Department of Taxation and the IRS. We will thoroughly review your case to determine what options and alternatives are available, including the Ohio Tax Amnesty program.

December 11, 2017

Tax Attorney Vince Nardone Speaks on Drastic Changes to IRS Partnership Audit Rules

Ohio society of cpas


     As part of the work that our tax attorneys continue to do on behalf of our clients related to IRS examinations, appeals, or litigation with the IRS, tax attorney Vince Nardone spoke on Monday, December 11, 2017, at The Ohio Society of CPAs’ Mega Tax Conference.  Mr. Nardone spoke to a large group, consisting mostly of CPAs and accountants from across the state of Ohio, on the upcoming drastic changes to IRS partnership audit rules.  The updated IRS partnership audit rules become effective as of January 1, 2018.  It is important that taxpayers, and their tax advisors, fully understand their rights and obligations under the new rules, if contacted by the IRS.  Therefore, Vince Nardone provided a thorough and comprehensive review of the new IRS partnership audit rules and discussed the practicality and planning opportunities that arise based upon those new rules.  We appreciate and thank The Ohio Society of CPAs accounting learning manager, Amber McAuliffe, for inviting us and allowing us to participate.

December 08, 2017

Ohio Department of Taxation Offers 2018 Tax Amnesty and Voluntary Disclosure Program

      Nh80dXTg_400x400
     The tax attorneys at Nardone Limited in Columbus, Ohio routinely advise and assist taxpayers regarding their ability to utilize amnesty and voluntary disclosure programs, prior to being audited by the Internal Revenue Service or the Ohio Department of Taxation (the “Department”).  Recently, the Ohio Department of Taxation announced that they will offer a tax amnesty program beginning January 1, 2018, and ending February 15, 2018.  If eligible for the program, any taxpayers with delinquent Ohio taxes who voluntarily come forward during this short amnesty period must pay the full amount of all delinquent taxes plus one-half of the interest due.  The Department will then waive all penalties and one-half of all interest otherwise due.  In addition, the Department will not pursue any potential civil or criminal action.  The Ohio Tax Amnesty only applies to taxpayers who voluntarily disclose and pay their delinquent Ohio taxes during the amnesty period. Taxpayers who have received a notice of assessment, or are under audit/have been audited are not eligible for abatement under this program. 

Eligible Taxes

     Both individuals and businesses are eligible for amnesty, if they meet the necessary requirements.  Taxpayers may seek amnesty for all unreported or under-reported qualifying delinquent taxes that were due and owing as of May 1, 2017 and have not yet been paid.  Eligible taxes for the amnesty program include: individual income tax; school district income tax; employer withholding tax; employer withholding for school district income tax; pass-through entity tax; sales tax; use tax; commercial activity tax; financial institutions tax; cigarette and other tobacco products taxes; and alcoholic beverage taxes.

Need assistance with the Ohio Tax Amnesty Program?  Contact Us

     To be approved for Ohio Tax Amnesty, a taxpayer must submit an application, all appropriate tax returns, and full payment of the taxes due, plus one-half of the applicable interest before the deadline of February 15, 2018.  No partial payments or credit card payments can be accepted.  The tax attorneys at Nardone Limited routinely represent businesses and individuals in state and federal tax issues, including federal tax collection alternative resolutions.  If you are dealing with a local, federal or state tax issue, you should contact an experienced tax attorney today.  Nardone Limited’s tax attorneys and professionals have vast experience representing clients before the Ohio Department of Taxation and the IRS. We will thoroughly review your case to determine what options and alternatives are available, including the Ohio Tax Amnesty program.

November 13, 2017

Tax Attorney Vince Nardone Speaks on Drastic Changes to IRS Partnership Audit Rules

Ohio society of cpas

     As part of the work that our tax attorneys continue to do on behalf of our clients related to IRS examinations, appeals, or litigation with the IRS, tax attorney Vince Nardone spoke on Friday, November 10, 2017, at The Ohio Society of CPAs’ Columbus Accounting Show.  Mr. Nardone spoke to a large group, mostly consisting of CPAs and accountants from the Columbus area, on the upcoming drastic changes to IRS partnership audit rules.  The updated IRS partnership audit rules become effective as of January 1, 2018.  It is important that taxpayers, and their tax advisors, fully understand their rights and obligations under the new rules, if contacted by the IRS.  Therefore, Vince Nardone provided a thorough and comprehensive review of the new IRS partnership audit rules and discussed the practicality and planning opportunities that arise based upon those new rules.  We appreciate and thank The Ohio Society of CPAs accounting learning manager, Amber McAuliffe, for inviting us and allowing us to participate.

September 28, 2017

Vince Nardone Talks on Drastic Changes to IRS Partnership Audit Rules

As part of the work that our tax attorneys continue to do on behalf of our clients related to IRS examinations, appeals, or litigation with the IRS, tax attorney Vince Nardone spoke yesterday, September 27, 2017, at The Ohio Society of CPAs Cincinnati Accounting Show.  Mr. Nardone spoke to a large group, mostly consisting of CPAs and accountants from the Cincinnati area, on the upcoming drastic changes to IRS partnership audit rules.  As part of our efforts to continue to represent our business taxpayers and defending those taxpayers in IRS audits, examinations, and appeals, it is important that we stay on top of the most recent changes to IRS partnership audit rules.  For example, this presentation included changes that were made as recent as last week.  Nardone Limited’s tax lawyers and professionals have vast experience representing clients in litigation with the IRS.  We believe that if a taxpayer is contacted by a Revenue Agent under the new partnership audit rules that it is important to understand your rights and obligations under the new rules.  We appreciate and thank The Ohio Society of CPAs accounting learning manager, Amber McAuliffe, for inviting us and allowing us to participate.

 

Ohio society of cpas

September 25, 2017

With New Policy Changes, In-Person IRS Appeals Conferences Are Likely Not a Realistic Option for Taxpayers

As tax attorneys in Columbus, Ohio, we assist many individuals and businesses with tax examinations, tax audits, appeals, and litigation relating to civil tax matters at the federal, state, and local levels. Further, the tax attorneys at Nardone Limited routinely advise taxpayers about their appeal rights as part of our tax controversy work. As an example, we assist taxpayers with filing appeals requests at the administrative level with the appropriate taxing authority, including the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the Ohio Department of Taxation, and then any necessary appeals. Taxpayers may be able to request an in-person appeals conference if the taxpayer meets certain unique facts and circumstances. This article is a follow-up to our previous article, IRS Limiting the Number of In-Person Appeals Conferences.

In-Person Appeals Conference Requests

Once a taxpayer determines that the benefits of an in-person appeals conference may outweigh the potential costs, a taxpayer may request an in-person appeals conference. It is important to remember, however, that although the IRS may grant a taxpayer’s request for an in-person appeals conference, the taxpayer may be required to travel a long distance for the in-person appeals conference. For example, the specific appeals officer assigned to the case may be located in Oklahoma, while the taxpayer is located in Ohio. As a result, traveling to the in-person appeals conference would end up being very expensive for the taxpayer. Thus, even if the IRS ultimately offers an in-person appeals conference to a taxpayer, the reality is, the expenses incurred to attend an in-person appeals conference may not be worth the potential benefit.

Prior to agreeing to an in-person appeals conference, the IRS directs its appeals employees to offer a virtual service delivery conference if such technology is available within 100 miles of the taxpayer’s address. IRM 8.6.1.4.1. If the necessary technology is not available, or the taxpayer declines the offer opportunity for a virtual service delivery conference, then the IRS may agree to an in-person appeals conference, in limited circumstances. Ultimately, the Appeals Team Manager must agree to an in-person appeals conference based upon various factors, as detailed below, and communicate their decision to the taxpayer. IRM 8.6.1.4.1.

When considering whether or not to grant a request for an in-person appeals conference, the Appeals Team Manager looks at various factors, including whether: (i) there are substantial books and records to review that cannot be easily referenced with page numbers or indices; (ii) the Appeals employee cannot judge the credibility of the taxpayer’s oral testimony without an in-person appeals conference; (iii) the taxpayer has special needs that can only be accommodated with an in-person appeals conference; and (iv) there are numerous conference participants that create a risk of an unauthorized disclosure or breach of confidentiality. IRM 8.6.1.4.1. If the Appeals Team Manager agrees to an in-person appeals conference, the appeals officer may conduct circuit riding to travel to a specified location to hold the in-person appeals conference.

Circuit Riding

An appeals officer assigned to the case may sometimes travel to the taxpayer for an in-person appeals conference in what is considered circuit riding. Not all IRS offices allow for circuit riding. In fact, from Nardone Limited’s perspective, the taxpayer is generally required to travel to the location of the appeals officer for an in-person appeals conference. But, according to the IRS, the appeals officer and the taxpayer may agree to meet at a mutually convenient location, as long as the taxpayer’s address is more than 100 miles from a customer facing virtual delivery service or 150 miles from the nearest appeals Office. IRM 8.6.1.4.1.2. Further, the Appeals Team Manager may also allow circuit riding if the nearest appeals office to the taxpayer cannot take the case due to a heavy case load or lack of local expertise. IRM 8.6.1.4.1.2.

According to the IRS, if the specific appeals office (i) does not accommodate in-person appeals conferences; (ii) is not reasonably convenient for the taxpayer or representative; or (iii) does not conduct circuit riding, the assigned officer must request case assistance to participate in the in-person appeals conference. IRM 8.6.1.4.1.1. But, case assistance does not cause the case to be transferred to the assisting appeals officer. Instead, the appeal, and the final determination of the case, stays with the original assigned appeals officer. IRM 8.6.1.4.1.1. The assigned officer will help the assisting appeals officer schedule the conference, provide the assisting appeals officer with the necessary documents for the conference, and lead the conference over the telephone. IRM 8.6.1.4.1.1. The assisting appeals officer will be present at the in-person appeals conference and both appeals officers will ultimately discuss their observations of the conference. The originally assigned appeals officer still makes the final decision regarding the taxpayer’s case. IRM 8.6.1.4.1.1.  In this instance, it may not be worth the taxpayer spending the money to travel to an in-person appeals conference when the taxpayer would not even be meeting with the specific appeals officer making the final decision. Thus, although it appears that the taxpayer has the option for an in-person appeals conference, in reality they do not. The cost of traveling for an in-person meeting with an individual who will not be making the final decision likely is not worth any potential benefit for the taxpayer.

Conclusion

In the end, although a taxpayer may request, and the IRS may grant, an in-person appeals conference, a taxpayer living in Ohio may be required to travel to Oklahoma, for example, for the conference. This could potentially be very expensive for the taxpayer. Thus, the taxpayer must decide whether the cost of traveling that far for an in-person appeals conference is worth it. In many cases, incurring the necessary travel expenses will not be worth any potential benefit for the taxpayer. In sum, choosing the right method for an appeals conference will ultimately save the taxpayer time and money. But, in reality, due to the IRS’s recent policy changes discussed in our previous article, IRS Limiting the Number of In-Person Appeals Conferences, taxpayers likely only have one option for an appeals conference, which is via telephone.

Contact Nardone Limited

Nardone Limited frequently represents individuals and businesses in federal, state, and local civil tax matters, including appeals. If you or your business have been contacted by the IRS or the Ohio Department of Taxation, or are struggling with tax liabilities, you should contact one of our tax attorneys today. We will thoroughly review your case to determine what options and alternatives are available to you.

April 18, 2018

April 17, 2018

April 12, 2018

April 05, 2018

January 31, 2018

December 11, 2017

December 08, 2017

November 13, 2017

September 28, 2017

September 25, 2017

-->