The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an organization within the Internal Revenue Service that is designed to help taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS.
HOW IT WORKS
The TAS was first formed in 1978. Over time, it gained more responsibilities and authority, primarily as the result of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 and the passage of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The TAS website is http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov.
The TAS’s primary duties are to resolve taxpayers‘ problems with the IRS, identify problem areas in IRS services, and propose changes to mitigate those problems. The TAS provides an annual report to Congress about the quality of IRS services.
The TAS has the authority to issue Taxpayer Assistance Orders (TAOs) if it determines that a taxpayer is “suffering or about to suffer a significant hardship as a result of the manner in which the internal revenue laws are being administered by the Secretary.”
In general, taxpayers may be eligible for assistance if they experience economic harm or significant cost (including fees for professional representation), a delay of more than 30 days to resolve their tax issue or no response or resolution to a problem by a date promised by the IRS.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is a free service intended to meet the tax needs of businesses and individuals. There is a taxpayer advocate in every state, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Here are ten things every taxpayer should know about the Taxpayer Advocate Service:
- The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS and is your voice at the IRS.
- We help taxpayers whose problems are causing financial difficulty. This includes businesses as well as individuals.
- You may be eligible for our help if you’ve tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and have gotten nowhere, or you believe an IRS procedure just isn’t working as it should.
- The IRS has adopted a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that includes 10 fundamental rights that every taxpayer has when interacting with the IRS:
- The Right to Be Informed.
- The Right to Quality Service.
- The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax.
- The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard.
- The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum.
- The Right to Finality.
- The Right to Privacy.
- The Right to Confidentiality.
- The Right to Retain Representation.
- The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System.Our TAS Tax Toolkit at TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov can help you understand these rights and what they mean for you. The toolkit also has examples that show how the Taxpayer Bill of Rights can apply in specific situations.
- If you qualify for our help, you’ll be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn.And our service is always free.
- They have at least one local taxpayer advocate office in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. You can call your advocate, whose number is in your local directory, in Pub. 1546, Taxpayer Advocate Service — Your Voice at the IRS, and on our website at irs.gov/advocate. You can also call them toll-free at 877-777-4778.
- The TAS Tax Toolkit at TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov has basic tax information, details about tax credits (for individuals and businesses), and much more.
- TAS also handles large-scale or systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us at http://www.irs.gov/sams.
- You can get updates at:
- TAS is here to help you because when you’re dealing with a tax problem, the worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all.