Taxpayer Advocate

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If you have a grievance with the Internal Revenue Service that’s causing a major hardship or an issue that’s not being resolved in a timely manner, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) may be able to help.

What it is: TAS is a free service. Though affiliated with the IRS, TAS works independently to resolve problems you’ve been unable to work out through normal channels.

For example, say you received a notice from the IRS and have attempted to settle the matter by responding either by telephone or letter, resulting in a series of unsatisfactory communications. Now it’s been over a month, you’ve heard nothing, and your problem is still outstanding. Your state or local TAS can help you reach a solution.

How it works: There is a TAS office in every state that you can call or visit. National and local phone numbers are listed in your phone book under U.S. Government Offices–Internal Revenue Service. You can also find phone numbers and office locations in IRS Publication 1546, which you can download from the web site.

If your situation meets the criteria for intervention, TAS will assign an advocate. The advocate assesses your complaint, determines the best course of action and tries to provide a speedy resolution to your case.

Other alternatives: Perhaps you feel a grievance is much broader than just “your problem”—for instance, many people you know are talking about having difficulties with a specific part of the tax code.

If that policy or procedure is having an adverse affect on large numbers of taxpayers, you or TAS can report the issue to the Systemic Advocacy Management System.

The submission will be reviewed and could become an advocacy project, which means it may be included in the National Taxpayer Advocate’s annual report to Congress.

You can report systemic issues via the IRS web site.

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