It would be safe to say that no one wants to deal with the Internal Revenue Service regarding an unresolved tax issue. It can be quite daunting and, in some instances, lead to no results despite your best efforts. When such a situation exists, there may be another option available to resolve your problem with the IRS. If you qualify, there is an organization whose advocates work for you to provide problem resolution within the IRS when everything else fails called the Taxpayer Advocate Service (“Advocate”).
Who are they?
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS whose mission is to help taxpayers with tax problems that are causing financial difficulty. Every state has at least one Advocate working to protect taxpayer rights, identify issues and generate solutions within the IRS.
When should I seek assistance?
The Advocate maybe an option if you have tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and procedures with no progress or tax resolution in sight. If you have repeatedly called the IRS with no response or follow-up and have exhausted all efforts and feel that you have no further path to resolution, seeking help from the Advocate could be the next step.
Generally, to be eligible for Advocate assistance you must have made timely communications to the IRS with no progress or resolution to your matter. You will need to prove that you are experiencing either economic harm or significant costs associated with your unresolved tax problem. The decision to accept a case lies solely with the local Advocate. There are certain circumstances that increase the likelihood of your case being accepted including: you or your business are experiencing immediate threat of financial harm; you have repeatedly called the IRS without a response or they have failed to respond to you by a promised date; IRS procedures do not appear to be working as normal, causing a failure to timely resolve your issue; or you have a particular issue or special situation that federal tax law has not yet addressed.
How does the process work?
Based on our experience with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, we highly recommend that if you are experiencing a tax issue that you have been unable to resolve that you do not go it alone. Please contact us at Tronconi Segarra & Associates to discuss your particular situation and together we can determine if the Taxpayer Advocate application would be the next logical step. You only get one opportunity to present your case to the Advocate on Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance. This form requires a detailed explanation of the facts and circumstances surrounding your case along with proper documentation to support your claims presented in such a way as to give you the best chance of the case being accepted by the Advocate.
Once the application is submitted, the Advocate will provide a response within 30 days with their acceptance or denial. If the Advocate accepts your case, they may need additional information to begin resolving the case with the IRS.
For more information, please contact Joe Becht, CPA, CGMA, Senior Manager, at 716.633.1373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.