Have you ever felt unfairly treated by a representative of the IRS? You’re not alone.
One survey found the vast majority of people believed they have no rights when dealing with the IRS and revenue collection officers.
If you feel that is the case, you may consider using the help of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).
Just like any other organization, the IRS isn’t perfect, and in extreme cases, they abuse their power. For the most part, the IRS tries to follow the rules set forth in the law just like anyone else.
What is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?
The TAS is an organization that functions independently within the IRS. It exists to help taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommend changes for preventing future problems.
Not everyone qualifies for help from the TAS. For the most part, the TAS works by solving specific case-related problems involving a failure of IRS systems, policy, or procedure.
There is absolutely no fee for using the services of TAS, and you are welcome to contact them anytime at 1-877-777-4778.
What Happens When You Contact TAS?
Once you contact the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, you will talk with one of their customer service agents. They will ask for basic contact information, and you will have to tell them how you have attempted to resolve your debt.
If they think they can help you, they will assign you a case number, and a taxpayer advocate advocate will contact you. The advocate acts as a mediator between you and the IRS.
How can the TAS Help You?
The TAS can issue what is called a “taxpayer assistance order,” an administrative injunction requiring the IRS to cease any actions it is currently taking. The TAS can issue a taxpayer assistance order under the following conditions:
- If the taxpayer is going to suffer an immediate threat of adverse action
- If a delay of more than 30 days may occur in resolving an account problem
- If a significant loss will occur
- If an irreparable injury or long-term adverse impact may happen
Examples of situations where TAS may issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order include:
- To setup an installment agreement if IRS collections has failed to respond to a taxpayer request
- To reduce interest on an improperly-allocated refund
- To approve replacement checks when unreasonable hardship or delay is placed on the taxpayer
- To help provide evidence for a taxpayer if he or she has provided proof of payment, but has experience an unreasonable delay in receiving payment
- To reduce all automatically assessed penalties when reasonable
Should You Hire Taxpayer Advocates or a Tax Attorney?
If you have no money at all to pay for a tax attorney’s services then the TAS is one path you should look into. The TAS don’t necessarily have the skill, experience, or independence a tax attorney has, and in many cases, won’t be nearly as effective at helping you receive the solution you want, but it’s better than going it alone.