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Administrative Appeals Officer: Adriane Aarona
The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) is an independent body within the Department of Taxation (DOTAX) headed by an Administrative Appeals Officer who reports directly to the Director of Taxation.

We help people who were audited by DOTAX to resolve tax disputes that involve a proposed, final, or return preparer penalty assessment that they believe is incorrect. We work with taxpayers, return preparers, and the DOTAX Compliance Division informally by telephone, correspondence, or through informal meetings to understand the issues and resolve them based on the law. We do this through the Administrative Appeals and Dispute Resolution (AADR) program.

AADR is an informal appeals process that uses a neutral intermediary, AAO, to independently review and resolve tax disputes based on the law. When the solution to a dispute is not clear, the Administrative Appeals Officer is authorized to settle the dispute based on the hazards of litigation, equally considering the positions of the Compliance Division and the taxpayer or return preparer.

AADR is optional for taxpayers and return preparers. A taxpayer or return preparer may withdraw its case from AADR by submitting written notification to the Administrative Appeals Officer. Taxpayers and return preparers retain all applicable appeal rights as provided for under the law, provided that the time to file an appeal has not expired. Applying or participating in AADR does not toll the statute of limitations for filing an appeal with the Board of Review or Tax Appeal Court.

The Administrative Appeals Officer will provide a written decision to the parties in the case. The decisions applies only to the taxpayer or return preparer in the case and cannot be used or cited as precedent or as the basis for new or alternative applications of the law. Decisions do not change or modify DOTAX policies and practices and the Administrative Appeals Officer’s decisions cannot be appealed.

In 2009, the Hawaii State Legislature passed Act 166 creating the statutory framework for this program. In 2015, DOTAX established the Administrative Appeals Office and then launched AADR in 2016.

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Page Last Updated: March 18, 2019