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Expedited program for small business or self-employed taxpayers: 5 FAQs

Small businesses and people who work for themselves now have access to an expedited procedure to resolve tax disputes with the IRS.

In this post, we will use a Q & A format to update you on the availability of this procedure, which is formally called the Small Business/Self Employed Fast Track Settlement program (SB/SE FTS).

What does the FTS program do?

The FTS program grants small businesses and self-employed individuals who are under IRS examination the opportunity to work out resolutions to disputed issues while those issues are still assigned to the IRS's SB/SE division (and not to some other division, such as Collections).

The program is administered jointly by the SB/SE division and the IRS Office of Appeals.

How quickly are cases supposed to be resolved?

The goal is 60 days.

What types of techniques does the fast-track program use in seeking to resolve disputes?

To facilitate discussions about possible settlement, the program uses mediation. A mediator from IRS Appeals is authorized to make settlement proposals.

How do you get into the program?

The formal application form is Form 14017. You will also need to provide a written statement with details about your position on the issue or issues in dispute.

Certain types of disputes, such as innocent spouse issues, are not eligible. And there is also a requirement of good faith, which means you have to responsive to the IRS and provide proper documentation.

If you can't resolve the issue through FTS, can you still appeal?

Yes. If the FTS process doesn't reach a resolution, you can pursue an administrative appeal or bring tax litigation in the courts.

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