The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS, originally created in 1979. Since then, legislation has expanded the rights, responsibilities, and duties of this organization. The mission of the TAS is to ensure taxpayers are treated fairly and that taxpayers understand their rights under the law.
How does TAS help taxpayers?
The TAS helps more than 200,000 individuals and businesses every year. Here are the kinds of cases the TAS accepts:
- Taxpayers in a time-sensitive situation that requires the IRS to act faster than normal to prevent serious financial harm.
- Complex situations that need someone to coordinate the actions of multiple IRS units.
- Situations where the taxpayer has tried to resolve an issue using the normal IRS channels and the process has broken down or stalled.
- Unique situations that require individualized consideration.
If you qualify for help, it’s free. You’ll be assigned an individual advocate who will help you every step of the way. Every state has at least one Taxpayer Advocate. The TAS also has an excellent self-help website with easy-to-understand written explanations and videos for many common IRS issues.
Here are examples of the ways the TAS has helped taxpayers in distress:
- The TAS helped expedite a partial refund for a taxpayer whose refund was slated to be withheld by the IRS to pay off other taxes owed but who desperately needed the funds for urgent expenses.
- A taxpayer who had a Federal tax lien had paid off the tax bill that gave rise to the lien, but the lien was still in place. The public record of the lien was jeopardizing the taxpayer’s employment. The TAS worked with the IRS to completely withdraw the lien and remove it from public record.
- A taxpayer had tax debts spanning more than 20 years, which exceeds the 10-year statutory limit for collection. The TAS helped to reduce the taxpayer’s debt by more than $100,000 by working with the IRS to remove debt that was no longer collectible.
How do you contact the TAS?
The easiest way to contact the TAS is to call (877) 777-4778 or find a local TAS office.
We Can Help
Remember that the worst thing you can do if you have tax problems is to ignore them. Our team at Schanel & Associates has had some success using TAS on behalf of clients, so please contact us today if you think we can help.