18-674 C.M.R. ch. 100, § 2-202 - Appeals Officer

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

1. Duty and powers

It is the Appeals Officer's role to administer the appeal process and to render a fair and impartial recommended decision to the Board. The recommended decision must be based on the record as a whole and resolve all material issues in the appeal. In fulfilling this role, the Appeals Officer is authorized to do the following:

A. To hold case management conferences, which may be conducted via telephone, if the Appeals Officer believes they may achieve one or more of the following purposes:
(1) Identifying and clarifying the issues;
(2) Developing agreement as to facts;
(3) Identifying witnesses and exhibits, and apprising the parties as fully as is practicable of the evidence to be offered by the opposing party in order to eliminate as far as possible the element of surprise;
(4) Identifying and resolving disputes regarding the production and admissibility of evidence, including the making of evidentiary rulings; and
(5) Taking any other action the Appeals Officer determines is appropriate for the provision of a fair, efficient and effective appeal process.
B. To rule on any request that may be made at the Appeals Conference, or at any other time during the appeal process prior to delivery of the recommended decision to the Board.
C. To regulate the presentation of evidence, including the order of witnesses, and to otherwise regulate the participation of the parties.
D. To examine parties and witnesses.
E. To rule on the admissibility of evidence pursuant to section 203 of this chapter;
F. To ensure that relevant evidence is incorporated into the record.
G. In the event that either the Taxpayer or the Bureau's Representative fails to appear at a conference, to prepare a recommended decision for the Board based upon the arguments and evidence presented by the party attending the conference and the written materials submitted by both parties prior to the scheduled date of the conference.
H. With the agreement of the parties, to conduct a consolidated conference concerning the appeals of more than one Taxpayer when those appeals involve substantially similar issues of fact and law.
I. To set deadlines for the submission of additional evidence and materials, after the expiration of which the Appeals Officer will not consider additional evidence and materials submitted by the parties.
2. Ex Parte communications

In accordance with 36 M.R.S. §151-D(10)(G), the Appeals Officer shall not have any ex parte communications with or on behalf of any party, except on questions that involve ministerial or administrative matters that do not address the substance of the issues or the positions taken by the Taxpayer or the Bureau. To prevent such ex parte communications, all parties shall furnish a copy of any requests, filings, or other communications with the Appeals Officer to the opposing party. The Appeals Officer may communicate with the Board and other employees of the Appeals Office.

3. Recusal

An Appeals Officer may be recused from participating in an appeal as follows:

A. By request of a party. Either party may request that the assigned Appeals Officer be recused if that party believes the Appeals Officer has a conflict of interest or for some other reason will not be able to fairly conduct the proceedings and issue an impartial recommended decision. In the event such a request is made, the Chief Appeals Officer shall determine whether to assign another Appeals Officer to the matter.
B. Upon the Appeals Officer's own determination. If the Appeals Officer assigned to an appeal believes he or she may have a conflict of interest, or for any other reason may not be able to fairly conduct the proceedings and issue an impartial recommended decision in an assigned appeal, the Appeals Officer shall so notify the Chief Appeals Officer, who may assign another Appeals Officer to the matter.

Notes

18-674 C.M.R. ch. 100, § 2-202

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