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Presubmission conference pilot program for technical advice issues.

The Service has established, in Rev. Proc. 97-21, a new pilot program allowing presubmission conferences with the IRS National Office for matters that a district director or chief of appeals is preparing to submit for technical advice.

Technical advice is one of the primary methods by which the National Office provides written legal advice to the field. Depending on the subject matter of the advice sought, the technical advice comes from either the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Domestic), (International), (Employee Benefits and Exempt Organizations) or (Enforcement Litigation). Generally, the taxpayer and the Service work jointly in submitting the request for technical advice, although sometimes the taxpayer may have to appeal the revenue agent's or appeals officer's determination not to seek technical advice. A request for technical advice is appropriate when the facts are fully developed and the issue is novel, complex or not governed by an established IRS position. The procedures for obtaining technical advice are provided in Rev. Proc. 97-2, and are updated annually.

The Service designed this new pilot program to expedite the processing of technical advice requests. The presubmission conference brings together, at an early stage of the process, the IRS's National Office and field personnel and the taxpayer. This gives the parties an opportunity, prior to submitting their request to the National Office, to agree on the appropriate scope of the request, which facts to include, any collateral issues that should be included in or excluded from the request and any substantive or procedural considerations that will allow the National Office to rule on the request as expeditiously as possible.

The pilot program is available only in 1997. If, however, the Service finds the program to be successful, it will consider extending it or permanently adopting it or a similar procedure. A request for a presubmission conference should be made only after the district director or the chief of appeals has determined that technical advice on the matter is likely to be sought. The request must be in writing and should be submitted to the district director or chief of appeals. The request should indicate that it is a request for a presubmission conference under Rev. Proc. 97-21, identify the appropriate associate chief counsel's office that win provide advice on the request, and contain a brief explanation of the primary issue.

The National Office will contact the district director or chief of appeals within five working days to arrange a mutually convenient time for the meeting. The Service and the taxpayer must submit, at least 10 days prior to the conference, a statement of pertinent facts (including any facts in dispute), a statement of issues to be discussed, and any legal analysis, authorities or background documents that the parties feel will facilitate the process.

Taxpayers requesting technical advice this year should consider the program. The presubmission conference should assist in substantially expediting the process. Taxpayers should stay alert for announcements at the end of 1997 or the beginning of 1998 indicating that this program has been extended.
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Author:Gribens, Bruce K.
Publication:The Tax Adviser
Date:Jul 1, 1997
Words:502
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