Skip to main content



Mediation – also known as Alternative Dispute Resolution – can help taxpayers resolve tax issues early and efficiently. The process provides taxpayers a faster, more collaborative and cost-effective approach to case resolution. The traditional appeal process is still available for taxpayers who choose it.

Mediation might be right for a taxpayer if:

  • The taxpayer wants to resolve the dispute at the earliest possible stage of their audit.
  • The taxpayer doesn’t have many disputed issues.
  • The taxpayer gave the IRS information to support their position.
  • The IRS is still considering the taxpayer’s case and issues remain unresolved.

Mediation is:

  • Voluntary for both parties.
  • Nonbinding, meaning each party retains 100% control over whether to settle the case. No one can force either party to do something they don’t agree to do.
  • Effective when both parties have a desire to resolve the disputed issue.
  • Appropriate when all issues are fully resolved except the issue for which mediation is requested.
  • A chance to avoid a lengthy appeal process or costly litigation.

Mediation is not:

  • Required by either party.
  • A replacement for the audit or collection process.
  • A process in which the parties in the dispute offer arguments directly to the mediator hoping to “win.”
  • Effective if either party believes the only way the dispute will get resolved is if the other party concedes or gives up on its position.
  • A time to present new information or raise new issues.
  • An opportunity to try and get a more favorable outcome or delay the examination or collection process.

The IRS provides guidance on their website: Preparing for a Successful Mediation and Appeals Mediation-Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).