What is a Tax Advocate for the IRS and what do they do?

A Tax Advocate is “your voice at the IRS”

A Tax Advocate might help your stalled tax refund. The bureaucracy surrounding the tax code and Internal Revenue Service can turn into a nightmare to navigate. The IRS has done a fairly decent job of making many of the basic processes that are important to the taxpayer accessible and understandable. However, there are times when things just don’t go as planned or resolve cleanly. Mistakes happen, information can get lost, and technology can complicate matters further. The good news is that the taxpayer does have an additional tool to confront more complicated issues in the form of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).

TAS can help if you can’t resolve your problem with the IRS and:

  • Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business.
  • You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action.
  • You’ve tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded to you, or the IRS hasn’t responded by the date promised.

Tax Advocate Service Toolkit

Who are the Taxpayer Advocates?

The IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS whose role is to help the taxpayer who is facing problems with unresolved federal tax issues. They essentially act as a voice for the taxpayer and may be able to help facilitate an agreement on unresolved issues.

Any individual or business can reach out to the Taxpayer Advocate Service for assistance. Licensed tax professionals can even reach out to TAS on behalf of their client. The service they offer is free for qualifying participants. If you qualify, you will be assigned an advocate to help you get a resolution for your federal tax problem.

Before requesting help from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, follow the channels the IRS makes available to you that may lead to a successful resolution of your federal tax problem. You can seek out more information through the IRS Help & Resources.  Here are some IRS. self help tools:

You can read up on the rights that you are entitled to in dealing with the IRS by visiting the Tax Advocate Service Toolkit website. You are entitled to the right of representation from a qualified tax relief professional in dealing with the IRS, meaning they cannot shut you out or penalize you for seeking outside assistance.

How to get a Tax Advocate

Every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico all have at least one IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service office where you can turn to request help. The easiest ways to request their help is to go through the IRS Advocate information page or visit the TAS website directly.

Tax problems do not just go away or resolve themselves. The worst thing you can do in dealing with the IRS or the government is nothing. Default judgments in the system are against the person who failed to respond. It can be intimidating to think about trying to deal with the IRS about tax issues. That’s why it is a great idea to reach out to the Taxpayer Advocate Service if you are lost or need help related to your federal taxes.

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