The IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent department within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve their problems with the IRS. These problems can include tax matters that are causing the taxpayer financial difficulties or immediate threats of adverse action. The problems can also include a lack of response by the IRS to calls and letters or delays by the IRS in responding to the taxpayer.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service refers to itself as “Your Voice at the IRS” and operates with a taxpayer focused level of service. Taxpayers who qualify to use the service will find agents who are proactive, diligent and generally successful at resolving taxpayer issues with the IRS.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service generally won’t assist a taxpayer who is experiencing normal delays with processing requests, protest letters or amended tax returns unless it can be shown that the taxpayer is at immediate risk of hardship. The service also won’t represent the taxpayer in a dispute with the IRS over interpretation or assessment of tax law.
In our firm’s history we have used the Taxpayer Advocate Service to assist our clients in resolving delays in tax issues with success. We have seen the Taxpayer Advocate Service force the IRS to respond to our correspondence on a more timely basis, help reverse penalties assessed on our clients and coordinate departments within the IRS to work together to resolve open tax matters.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is free for taxpayers to use. We have found their staff to be helpful, prompt and diligent. If they say they will call you on a certain day, they will do so, even if there is nothing to report. We have seen delays of many months by the IRS in responding to amended tax returns and taxpayer correspondence get resolved by the service in as little as 45 days.
More information on the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service can be found at http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/About-TAS
Written by Steven Flynn, CA/CPA