June 2019

Travis Thompson comments in “IRS Bill’s Change to Appeals Process Targets Facebook Case Issue” for Bloomberg’s Daily Tax Report


A bill awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature targets an issue at the center of a court battle that Facebook Inc. lost to the IRS—a taxpayer’s right to the agency’s internal appeals process.

The bill (H.R. 3151), which changes some IRS operations and lays groundwork for more restructuring, says the appeals process shall generally be available to all taxpayers.

It comes about a year after a federal district court judge supported the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to block Facebook from taking its $7 billion tax dispute to the agency’s appeals office, a ruling that limited the company’s ability to avoid a full Tax Court trial. The company had argued it had a statutory right to access the appeals office process.

Because a judge denied that claim, Facebook faces a trial set for February 2020 if it is unable to settle before then.