Today, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2017-25 extending the Fast Track Settlement (FTS) program to Small Business / Self Employed (SB/SE) taxpayers. The IRS’s SB/SE group serves individuals filing Form 1040 (US Individual Income Tax Return), Schedules C, E, F or Form 2106 (Employee Business Expenses), and businesses with assets under $10 million.

FTS offers a customer-driven approach to resolving tax disputes at the earliest possible stage in the examination process. The program provides an independent IRS Appeals review of the dispute. Under this approach, the IRS Appeals Officer acts as the mediator and has settlement authority.

The purpose of the program is to reduce the time to resolve cases and to provide the IRS Exam Team with the authority to settle cases based on hazards of litigation (which is generally reserved for IRS Appeals Officers). FTS has been considered a great success by the IRS and many taxpayers. The expansion of this successful alternative dispute resolution makes sense in light of the ever-shrinking resources of the IRS.