Taxpayer Advocate Service: The unknown benefit for taxpayers

From receiving notices to having tax problems, taxpayers often find themselves in difficult situations when dealing with the IRS. If a taxpayer in any tax situation requires assistance, he or she might contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). Taxpayers may seek relief from IRS sanctions and interest charges through this independent branch of the Internal Revenue Service. The Taxpayer Advocate Service offers taxpayers with fair and unbiased services, expert guidance, and advocacy for their rights. In this blog article, we will outline the benefits of using the TAS to help people resolve their tax-related concerns professionally.

What is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that assists taxpayers with their tax problems. The Taxpayer Advocate Service helps taxpayers with complicated tax situations, including those facing economic hardship due to IRS enforcement action. It assists local offices in each state, as well as by providing services by telephone and online. The service is free and is available to all taxpayers, regardless of their income or filing status.

Providing taxpayers with IRS-related assistance is the focus of the team of certified advocates at the TAS. These consultants offer impartial advice and assist taxpayers in making sense of what’s in their best interests. The advocates can identify areas where taxpayers may need assistance, such as appealing an audit, getting a refund, or preventing a lien or levy. Taxpayers can rely on these trained professionals to help keep them from unfairly facing overzealous agents from the IRS, as the latter follows the letter of the law.

As well as being updated on the most current tax rates, the TAS site provides detailed information on how taxpayers are taxed and crucial information on the changing laws and their impact. Additionally, if you are facing financial hardship due to your tax situation, the TAS advocates can help you explore potential solutions, such as reducing penalties or interest rates.

How can the Taxpayer Advocate Service help me?

Taxpayers often face complicated tax issues and find it hard to navigate the ever-changing rules and regulations. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) exists for this reason. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers with unresolved problems, provides free assistance, and resolves disputes. TAS can help you in the following ways:

Taxpayer Advocate Service

A. Representation and Advice – If you’re facing a complex tax issue or need help understanding a particular regulation, TAS can assist with resolving your problem. From questions about how to file a tax return to knowing the benefits of each type of tax deduction (earned Income tax credit, advance child tax credit), TAS representatives are there for you from start to finish.

B. Help with Unresolved Problems – If you have been unable to get a response from the IRS or do not understand what they are asking, TAS can help. They will work with you and the IRS to resolve any problems that may have arisen during your dealings with them so the resolution can be quick and efficient. 

C. Settlement of Disputes – If you’re dealing with an unresolved dispute or disagreement between yourself and the IRS, you can turn to TAS for assistance in reaching an amicable resolution. It could include facilitating negotiations between parties or working out mutually beneficial compromises. 

D. Support for Unusual and Time-Sensitive Situations – If you’re in the middle of something unusual or time-sensitive, such as an audit or an unexpected penalty assessment from the IRS, the TAS will be there for you too! They specialize in providing support for these situations so that even if it seems like no one else can help, they will do their best to get things sorted out as quickly as possible for you. 

E. Free Assistance & Access to Expertise – The best part is that all of their services come at no cost to taxpayers who meet their qualification requirements. Their services include not only representation and advice but also hassle-free access to experts capable of handling any unique circumstances that may arise.

How to qualify for Taxpayer Advocate Service?

To be eligible for their assistance, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. 

First, you must be experiencing or expecting to experience financial difficulties due to an IRS issue. It could include an inability to pay taxes, IRS delays in resolving a case, or any other situation that causes economic hardship or takes a long time to solve. 

Second, you must have already tried to resolve your issue with the IRS and not get the help you need.  

Third, you must be facing a tax issue that may result in difficulties at home (for example, foreclosure or eviction), problems with wages (such as garnishment), difficulty paying a mortgage, or any other inconvenience caused by your tax issue.  

You can use the TSA Qualifier Tool to see if you are eligible. If you believe that you meet all of the qualifications for assistance from the TAS, you can reach out to them. A representative from the TAS will work with you to address your concerns and provide personalized support in finding a resolution to your tax issue.

How do I contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service?

If you need assistance with an IRS issue and have serious trouble with it, you may be able to reach out to the Taxpayer Advocate Service for help.

To contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service, you can do one of the following: call the TAS toll-free hotline at 1 (877) 777-4778 or visit their website at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov

When contacting the Taxpayer Advocate Service, you should be prepared to provide the following information: 

• Your name and contact information 

• Your Social Security number 

• Any correspondence from the IRS that pertains to your issue 

• A brief explanation of your issue and how it affects you  

To provide the requested information, you fill out Form 911  known as Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance). Once you’ve provided all the necessary information, a trained specialist will contact you within five business days to discuss your case and determine if the TAS can help you. The specialist may ask you for additional information before they can move forward with helping you resolve your issue.

What makes the TAS a beneficial resource for taxpayers?

The Taxpayer Advocate Service provides free assistance to taxpayers who are having difficulties with their tax matters or face immediate threat of adverse action. It includes assistance to taxpayers who are facing financial hardship or need help understanding and meeting their tax obligations.

TAS helps taxpayers by researching and solving issues on their behalf, including advocating for solutions that help address the root cause of their problem. It can include:

  • Advocating for better systems within the IRS, 
  • Fighting unfair denials of benefits to taxpayers or,
  • Helping resolve complex tax disputes.

Additionally, TAS can advise on ways to maximize tax incentives and credits and the best way to structure business affairs to minimize taxes.

They can also provide referrals to other agencies and organizations that may be able to help resolve tax-related problems. In addition, TAS employees can represent taxpayers at all levels of appeals, including cases heard by the U.S. Tax Court.

Overall, TAS provides a valuable service to taxpayers, especially those with complicated tax situations or struggling financially. Their free services and assistance can help taxpayers resolve their problems and save them time, money, and headaches.