Law360 Quotes Christopher Rizek: Facebook Row May Expand Access to IRS Appeals Process
Facebook Inc. sued the revenue agency in November, saying that it was arbitrarily denied access to the IRS Office of Appeals following an audit despite Congress’ enactment of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in 2015, which the social media company said guarantees taxpayers the right to an independent administrative settlement forum.
The IRS disagrees that TBOR gave such an unqualified guarantee of access to its appeals office, but practitioners say the statute’s language is ambiguous enough that a ruling in favor of Facebook could limit the discretion the IRS has in controlling the forward direction of disputes.
“It's a little bit oddly drafted,” said Christopher Rizek, a tax attorney at Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd., noting that the statute’s call for the IRS to “act in accord with taxpayer rights as afforded by other provisions of this title” necessitates a search for another provision that supports a taxpayer’s right to access the IRS appeals process.
“I'm not aware of any [provision] that says there must be an IRS administrative appeal, other than this particular provision itself. So it's not really clear what that means,” Rizek said.
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A staple of common law, however, is that rights cannot exist without remedies, and according to Rizek, it is unclear what remedies are available for taxpayers denied the ability to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum.
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Excerpt taken from the article “Facebook Row May Expand Access To IRS Appeals Process” by Vidya Kauri.