What Is a Taxpayer Advocate and Ought to You Contact One?

taxpayer advocate

When you’ll be able to’t pay your taxes or are having issues resolving points with the IRS, what are your choices? You may be capable of use an accountant, however many individuals in such a monetary place attempt to file taxes on their very own and don’t have an accountant.

You positively aren’t out of choices. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps folks resolve tax points with the IRS. The service doesn’t value something, however you have to be permitted to make use of the service.

On this article, you’ll study what TAS does, the sorts of circumstances that get permitted, and when you must contact a taxpayer advocate.

What Is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?

TAS is an unbiased group throughout the IRS. Which will sound like an oxymoron, however the TAS has laid out clear pointers on the way it helps folks with tax points regarding the IRS.

There are 4 sorts of circumstances that the TAS will tackle, as outlined of their publication, Taxpayer Advocate Service Clarifies Case Acceptance Criteria:

  1. The taxpayer is experiencing monetary hardship and wishes expedited decision or their state of affairs will turn into harder.
  2. The taxpayer has a posh challenge involving many steps. The TAS will step in and guarantee all steps are being adopted by the events concerned.
  3. The taxpayer isn’t capable of resolve their challenge(s) with the IRS utilizing advisable strategies.
  4. The taxpayer has a novel state of affairs however the IRS retains making an attempt to use a common answer.

As a result of TAS has restricted sources, taxpayers have to be permitted earlier than the TAS will tackle their case. It’s necessary to grasp that when the TAS takes over your case, they are going to be “your voice on the IRS.” This implies you’ll not keep in touch with the IRS and TAS will deal with all communication about your case.

Apart from immediately serving to people, TAS additionally advocates for systemic adjustments throughout the IRS to the benefit of people. To this finish, Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen has proposed the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. This invoice of rights was derived from fundamentals within the tax code and is expressed in plain English:

  1. The Proper to Be Knowledgeable
  2. The Proper to High quality Service
  3. The Proper to Pay No Greater than the Appropriate Quantity of Tax
  4. The Proper to Problem the IRS’s Place and Be Heard
  5. The Proper to Enchantment an IRS Resolution in an Unbiased Discussion board
  6. The Proper to Finality
  7. The Proper to Privateness
  8. The Proper to Confidentiality
  9. The Proper to Retain Illustration
  10. The Proper to a Honest and Simply Tax System

To see Ms. Olsen’s efforts on systemic points first hand, here’s what she stated in a report back to the IRS on 6/28/17:

“Nonetheless, a lot of the IRS’s improved efficiency this 12 months is attributable to diminished taxpayer demand for providers,” stated Olson’s report, as reported by Accounting Today. “Whereas fewer taxpayers tried to contact the IRS on the phone, the IRS additionally answered fewer calls. We additionally stay involved concerning the IRS’s latest and persevering with reductions in service for taxpayers, together with declining to reply all however primary tax regulation questions throughout the submitting season or any questions after the submitting season, eliminating walk-in service on the TACs (Tax Help Facilities), and eliminating the flexibility of taxpayers to ask questions of the IRS on-line. The failure to fulfill the wants of taxpayers who depend on these providers causes added stress for them and should cut back their willingness or capability to conform.”

“To create an surroundings that encourages taxpayer belief and confidence, the IRS should change its tradition from one that’s enforcement-oriented to at least one that’s service-oriented,” the TAS advisable in its 2016 41-page report, as reported by Time.

Ought to You Contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service?

The 4 eventualities outlined above ought to provide you with a good suggestion in case you are a match for the TAS. It’s actually price calling and talking to them in the event you consider they can assist.

For those who use an accountant, have already paid them for his or her providers, and discover now that they’re considerably unwilling that will help you with IRS points or wish to cost an additional charge, TAS could be a good various.

Step one is to undergo regular IRS channels and attempt to get decision. However in the event you’re working up towards a time restrict or nothing is getting resolved after many tries, it’s in all probability time to contact the TAS.

The TAS does work. Talya Hammond of Lancaster, TX filed her return early and thought her refund could be accessible inside a couple of weeks. The IRS stored telling her it was processing.

“What [the advocate] defined to me was that the earlier fee that I had despatched in [ . . . ] the system didn’t replicate me owing any quantity,” informed NBC 5.

Working with the tax advocate, her challenge was resolved inside a couple of days. She acquired the refund minus an quantity beforehand owed to the IRS.

Contacting the Taxpayer Advocate Service

Every state has no less than one native taxpayer advocate. That is the particular person you should contact. You’ll be able to find their info for your state here.

For those who need assistance monitoring down a state tax refund or have a state tax challenge, you may have to contact the taxpayer providers workplace in your state. We complied a listing of all of the state tax workplaces right here, so discover your state and monitor down your refund.