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Monday, February 19, 2024

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

taxpayer advocate

When you may’t pay your taxes or are having issues resolving points with the IRS, what are your choices? You would possibly be capable to 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 accredited to make use of the service.

On this article, you’ll be taught what TAS does, the kinds of instances that get accredited, and when it is best to contact a taxpayer advocate.

What Is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?

TAS is an impartial group inside 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 kinds of instances that the TAS will tackle, as outlined of their publication, Taxpayer Advocate Service Clarifies Case Acceptance Standards:

  1. The taxpayer is experiencing monetary hardship and desires expedited decision or their state of affairs will grow to be harder.
  2. The taxpayer has a fancy subject involving many steps. The TAS will step in and guarantee all steps are being adopted by the events concerned.
  3. The taxpayer just isn’t capable of resolve their subject(s) with the IRS utilizing beneficial strategies.
  4. The taxpayer has a novel state of affairs however the IRS retains making an attempt to use a common resolution.

As a result of TAS has restricted sources, taxpayers have to be accredited earlier than the TAS will tackle their case. It’s essential 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.

Moreover immediately serving to people, TAS additionally advocates for systemic modifications inside the IRS to the benefit of people. To this finish, Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen has proposed the Taxpayer Invoice 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 Right Quantity of Tax
  4. The Proper to Problem the IRS’s Place and Be Heard
  5. The Proper to Enchantment an IRS Choice 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:

“Nevertheless, a lot of the IRS’s improved efficiency this 12 months is attributable to lowered taxpayer demand for companies,” stated Olson’s report, as reported by Accounting As we speak. “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 fundamental tax legislation questions through the submitting season or any questions after the submitting season, eliminating walk-in service on the TACs (Tax Help Facilities), and eliminating the power of taxpayers to ask questions of the IRS on-line. The failure to satisfy the wants of taxpayers who depend on these companies causes added stress for them and will scale back their willingness or capability to conform.”

“To create an setting that encourages taxpayer belief and confidence, the IRS should change its tradition from one that’s enforcement-oriented to 1 that’s service-oriented,” the TAS beneficial 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 offer you 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 may also help.

For those who use an accountant, have already paid them for his or her companies, and discover now that they’re considerably unwilling that can assist you with IRS points or wish to cost an additional charge, TAS is usually a good different.

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 most likely time to contact the TAS.

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

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

Working with the tax advocate, her subject was resolved inside a couple of days. She obtained 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 it’s good to contact. You may discover their information on your state right here.

For those who need assistance monitoring down a state tax refund or have a state tax subject, you will must contact the taxpayer companies workplace in your state. We complied an inventory of all of the state tax workplaces right here, so discover your state and monitor down your refund.

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