The Internal Revenue Service just announced it has rolled out a streamlined program designed to help small businesses under audit to quickly resolve their differences with the IRS.

The Fast Track Settlement (FTS) program is designed to help small businesses and self-employed individuals who are under examination by the Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) Division of the IRS. Modeled on a similar program available to large and mid-size businesses, FTS uses alternative dispute resolution methods to help taxpayers save time and avoid formal administrative appeals or costly litigation. FTS is meant to resolve audit issues within 60 days, rather than months or years. If a taxpayer chooses this option, they will not lose any of their rights because they still have the right to appeal even if the FTS process is unsuccessful.

The program is administered by both the SB/SE and the IRS Appeals office, and is designed to expedite case resolution. Under FTS, taxpayers under examination with disagreed issues will work directly with IRS representatives from SB/SE’s Examination Division and Appeals to resolve those issues, with the Appeals representative normally serving as mediator.

The taxpayer or the IRS examination representative may initiate FTS for eligible cases, usually before a 30-day letter is issued. The goal is to complete cases within 60 days of acceptance of the application in Appeals.

SB/SE originally launched FTS as a pilot program in September 2006 and it is now available to taxpayers in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Coral Springs and elsewhere throughout South Florida and the nation.

If you require IRS audit help or other tax representation call the CPAs at East Coast Tax Consulting Group at 561-826-9303 for a free consultation.