IRS Appeals invites input on enhancing video conferences

Comments requested by November 16, 2022

Comments requested by November 16, 2022

The IRS Independent Office of Appeals today invited public input on best practices for conducting video conferences with taxpayers and tax professionals who have pending cases.

Comments are requested by November 16, 2022.

According to today’s IRS release—IR-2022-154 (August 18, 2022)— Appeals expanded access to video conferences to meet taxpayer needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and received positive feedback from taxpayers and tax professionals about the availability and utility of video conferences. Thus, video conferences will remain an option in Appeals.

In addition, with the return of IRS employees to the office this summer, Appeals is resuming in-person conferences along with virtual options to accommodate taxpayers’ preferred choice of conference.


Appeals issued interim guidance in March 2021 with respect to video conferences that described in detail the employee responsibilities for scheduling and conducting the video conference, procedures for verifying authorized participants, and necessary technology prerequisites. The guidance also included basic recommendations for establishing a professional meeting environment, such as reducing extraneous background distractions; muting audio when not speaking to avoid interruptions; and verifying Appeals employees’ names are displayed for taxpayers.

As Appeals prepares to update the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) with permanent guidelines for conducting video conferences and updates to the video conferencing platform technology (Microsoft Teams), Appeals is welcoming input from taxpayers and tax professionals on how video conference technology can best be used in Appeals hearings.

Appeals has already heard some common themes from taxpayers and tax professionals:

  • When managed effectively, video conferences can often provide a better taxpayer experience than a telephone conference.
  • The role of the Appeals employee leading the conference is critical—that employee is to introduce every participant and participants are to turn on their cameras.
  • Video conferences that allow for screen sharing of documents can lead to a more comprehensive discussion of the issues and, potentially, earlier resolution for the taxpayer.
  • Taxpayers for whom video conferencing technology is a challenge are not to be disadvantaged by their inability to participate in an Appeals conference by video. Appeals is to endeavor to keep technical requirements for video conferences to a minimum and confirm other channels for conducting an Appeals conference (such as in person or by telephone) remain available for these taxpayers. 


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