If there’s anything as disconcerting as having the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) call you about a tax problem, it’s having to call them. Dealing with the IRS is anxiety-inducing for many taxpayers, who are already have their plates full with work and family responsibilities. Fortunately, however, the IRS has a process to help make resolving tax disputes with them easier.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)
If you are involved in a tax dispute with the IRS, you can contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) to speak with an advocate who can assist you with your problem.
A tax dispute can be addressed using a Taxpayer Advocate if it falls into any of the following categories:
1) you have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to contact the IRS to resolve the problem;
2) the agency did not respond to your call by the date it promised;
3) the routine IRS channels of communication failed you for any reason; or
4) it’s in your best interest, or that of the IRS, to use the program.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service generally caters to taxpayers who are experiencing substantial hardship and financial problems due to tax laws, and have not been able to resolve their issue through standard channels.
What to Expect If You Call the Taxpayer Advocate Service
Your particular situation may be more or less complicated than Becky’s problem above, and therefore it may take more or less time to resolve. Regardless, the IRS says that every taxpayer can expect polite handling of their tax dispute, a timely follow-up after the initial call, an estimate of how long it will take to settle their case, and a quick resolution.
If you decide to call the Taxpayer Advocate Service for help, make sure you are prepared to provide the following information:
- Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- The tax year(s) and type(s) of tax return(s) involved
- A detailed description of your dispute
- Information about your previous attempts to resolve the problem
The local taxpayer advocate who you speak with will identify himself or herself by name and their IRS number. You will want to write down this information for your own records, in case you need to call back or follow-up later. Most of us could probably live very happy and fulfilled lives without ever having direct interaction with the IRS. However, if you do have an unresolved tax problem there’s no need to panic or avoid it unnecessarily. You can get courteous, speedy, and professional service with just a call to your local taxpayer advocate.
By using tax resolution companies to assist you with your IRS debt, you could get expert help whenever you like and at a rate that you can afford. You don’t have to suffer with your tax debt in silence, when there are people who can help you.