What Is The Purpose Of The Taxpayer Advocate
- October 26, 2010
- David Greene
- Comments Off on What Is The Purpose Of The Taxpayer Advocate
Following the congressional hearings on the IRS, which found many problems in how the IRS sometimes mistreats taxpayers, the Taxpayer Advocate Service was formed. The Taxpayer Advocate’s office is a special branch of the IRS that was formed to investigate any problems reported by taxpayers and help to resolve those problems.
There is a national taxpayer advocate office and also one in each state. In general, I contact the state office when I have tried to deal with my client’s problem and cannot get a satisfactory response from the IRS. The taxpayer advocate will contact supervisors or administrators on the state, regional or national level and try to cut through “red tape” to help reach a solution.
Also, if there is a real emergency where the health, livelihood, etc. of my client is threatened by an impending IRS action, such as a levy, we can file a “Form 911” Taxpayer Assistance Order that gets immediate attention. I have only done this on rare occasions, but the results have been gratifying.
The most common use I make of the Taxpayer Advocate is to follow up on requests for help that have not been answered by the IRS for a long time. For example, if I file an Installment Agreement request or an Appeal for Abatement of Penalties and I get no response in 60 days, I will contact the Taxpayer Advocate to see what has caused the delay. They can usually speed up the process.
I have used the Taxpayer Advocate on numerous occasions and have usually been very pleased with the help I’ve received. Although they have no power to make deals or change results, they can help negotiate settlements and get action from the IRS when the IRS “drags its heels.”