Scheme Nickname: 
IRS Office of Appeals

The IRS Office of Appeals conducts hearings when an individual challenges a determination of tax liability or a notice of lien or levy. The Office of Appeals handles two types of hearings. First, the Office handles “collection due process” (CDP) hearings, as required by 26 U.S.C. (I.R.C.) §§ 6320(b) and 6330(b). CDP hearings focus on the IRS’s means for collecting overdue taxes, and happen after a notice of lien or levy. The Office also hears cases under 26 C.F.R. Part 601. In 601 hearings, taxpayers challenge the amount of taxes allegedly owed. Most cases can be appealed to the U.S. Tax Court.

However, before a hearing occurs, the Office of Appeals attempts to resolve the issue in a non-adversarial manner. Appeals Officers are also involved with alternative dispute resolution (ADR) activities at the IRS.

Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 
The Office of Appeals has regional offices, and several officials within each Appeals Office have a specific jurisdiction and role in the decision-making process. For instance, the Tax Court in 2010 noted that the authority to conduct CDP (collection due process) hearings under 26 U.S.C. 6320 and 6330 has been delegated to three positions within the IRS Office of Appeals: (i) "Appeals Officers", (ii) "Settlement Officers", and (iii) "Appeals Account Resolution Specialists." The authority to review and approve those determinations was delegated to Team Managers. See Tucker v. Comm'r of IRS, 135 T.C. 114, 139 (2010). The way the Appeals Office functions changes from time to time through administrative delegations. See IRS Manual §1.2.47 (Delegation of Authorities for the Appeals Process), at
Types of Adjudication: 
Type B
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Type(s): 
CDP hearings are Type B adjudications, as hearings are required by statute, but do not require APA formal proceedings. 26 I.R.C. §§ 6320(b), 6330(b). The status of Part 601 schemes is more uncertain. The Tax Court has held that Part 601, despite its place in the C.F.R., contains merely internal agency operations, and is not legally binding on the agency. See Estate of Weiss v Comm'r, T.C. Memo 2005-284. See also Tucker v. Comm'r, 135 T.C. 114, 152-159 (2010) (rejecting the argument that IRS Appeals Officers' positions were "established by Law" for purposes of the Appointments Clause).
Resources & Articles: 
Tucker v. Comm'r, 135 T.C. 114 (2010) [thorough discussion of history of IRS Appeals, character of officials, etc.]
Byers v. Comm'r, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 933 (D.C. Cir. 2014) [good description of CDP hearing process]
<> [Appeals home page]
Distinctive Features: 
This scheme overlaps substantially with IRS ADR/settlement conference methods.
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified
Is this a Major Adjudication: