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DOR Commissioner Amy Pitter wrote today that she is committed to improving the settlement and appeals processes currently in place.

Her comments were posted on the DOR 360 section of DOR's web site. "I am committed to resolving tax disputes as efficiently and as early as possible, and to that end the Department is reviewing some of the best practices from the IRS and elsewhere to improve the appeals process.

"In particular, we are considering a 'fast track settlement' process, which is a pre-assessment process where a trained appeals officer acts as a mediator between the tax auditors and the taxpayer."

Pitter noted that DOR is already authorized to resolve tax disputes prior to assessment or litigation, an authority which permits the Commissioner to accept less than the full amount of a contested liability based on the best interests of the Commonwealth and the potential hazards of litigation.

"The Office of Appeals, an independent office with DOR that reports directly to the Commissioner, settles tax disputes and conduct conferences. The settlement and conference processes are functionally combined at the Office of Appeals to afford a taxpayer a single integrated forum to resolve disputes and an outstanding opportunity for settlement in an informal arena without time-consuming and expensive proceedings," Pitter wrote.

The Commissioner requested comments or suggestions be sent to Steve Dukeman, the director of DOR's Office of Advocacy, Training and Communications at dukeman@dor.state.ma.us.

 

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