If you going through financial hardship and have not been able to resolve your federal tax trouble with the IRS, you may be eligible for assistance through a program called the Taxpayer Advocate Services (TAS). The services provided under TAS are without charge, the communication is confidential and it is designed to meet the special needs and circumstances of the taxpayer in trouble.
A central role of TAS is to bring taxpayer complaints to the attention of the IRS’s enforcement division, and on the taxpayer’s behalf, recommend potential solutions. TAS has also introduced and recommended legislative remedies to congress, through an annual report to Congress. The 2007 report, released in January of 2008, identified dozens of different issues affecting U.S. taxpayers and their families along with alternative recommendation on how to resolve them.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is a quasi-independent branch of the IRS, mandated by Congress to protect taxpayers against the harsh application of the tax laws. Each state should have at least one Taxpayer Advocate, with offices separate from the IRS and, in general, staffed by non-IRS employees.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service can be a powerful ally, but should only be used when you are facing imminent hardship or have exhausted most other administrative remedies.
When you contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service have a note pad and pen or pencil handy, so when you do reach an assistant, you can easily note the date, time of the call name and badge number of the IRS employee assisting you. IRS employees are now required to give their badge number. They will say it quickly, so do not be afraid to ask them to repeat the number if you do not get it at first.
You should also jot down the content and nature of the conversation. Taking notes will help you clarify and remember what you are to do and when you are to do it. Notes may also help corroborate your position if later there is any conflict about what was said.
As an added precaution, it may be advisable to follow-up your telephone conversation with a letter to the IRS in which you set down the contents of your conversation. You will of course need to have asked for the IRS employee's address.
How do I seek such an order?
To initiate the TAS process, use IRS Form 911. The form was substantially revised in 2007. Form 911 is simple to complete. The most important section of Form 911 requires that you provide a detailed outline of the circumstances and reasons as to why you are requesting the TAS.
A TAS request can also be done as a simple written statement that includes the information on Form 911. You might even make an oral request to the Taxpayer Advocate. The Form 911 or written request should be submitted to your local Taxpayer Advocate within the district in which you reside.
If you need assistance from the Taxpayer Advocates Services call 1-800-829-4059.
For more information on IRS tax collection services, collection, tax penalties and taxpayer assistance programs visit GotTrouble.com