Thursday, October 21, 2021

LB&I Extends the Use of Virtual Taxpayer Meetings

According to Law360, the IRS' Large Business and International Division said that it will accept all requests to meet virtually with government employees, extending a practice established during the coronavirus pandemic to help offer an alternative to in-person meetings all around or telephone discussions.

The Internal Revenue Service Will Allow Large-Business Taxpayers To Meet Using Secure Videoconferencing Through Platforms Such As WebEx And ZoomGov,
The Government Said In A Memorandum To LB&I Employees.

"Since 2020, we advanced several measures to better interact virtually and digitally with large business taxpayers," LB&I Commissioner Nikole Flax, who was appointed to the position in April, said in a statement. "Our success in using these tools and the convenience and efficiency for taxpayers and their representatives convinced us that the way forward will continue to involve the use of video teleconferencing."

LB&I is the division within the IRS that is in charge of tax administration for domestic and foreign companies with assets over $10 million that must report federal taxes, global high-wealth individuals and international individual compliance programs.

Based on feedback the IRS received on its operations during the pandemic, the agency determined that telephone communications are not always productive or adequate, the IRS said. In response, if a taxpayer requests a video meeting on an approved platform, an IRS employee will grant that request, according to the LB&I memorandum.

LB&I's decision to accept all virtual meeting requests demonstrates how the agency has been working with taxpayers virtually, especially in conjunction with other programs such as expanding the use of secure email and creating a virtual reading room, the IRS said. These other programs allow parties to share certain privileged documents in a read-only capacity, the government said.

"These efforts are aimed at continuing to improve service to meet the needs of large business taxpayers and their representatives and are a part of the IRS' ongoing commitment to find more convenient and effective ways to interact with taxpayers and the community of tax professionals," the IRS said.

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