I. Introduction

A. Brief Overview of TAS

  • TAS, or the Taxpayer Advocate Service, is an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommends changes to prevent those problems.
  • The mission of TAS is to provide assistance to taxpayers who are experiencing financial hardship or who are facing an immediate threat of negative action, as well as taxpayers who are having trouble resolving a tax-related problem with the IRS.
  • TAS also works to ensure that taxpayers receive fair and equitable treatment and that their rights are protected.
Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

B. Importance of TAS for Taxpayers

  • TAS provides a crucial service to taxpayers who are experiencing difficulty with the IRS. By offering assistance and support, TAS helps taxpayers resolve their problems and prevent further financial hardship.
  • TAS also acts as an advocate for taxpayers by recommending changes to the IRS that can help prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.
  • For taxpayers who are facing financial hardship, TAS can be especially important in helping to prevent negative actions, such as wage garnishment or property seizure, and ensuring that the tax laws are being administered in a manner that is equitable and does not impair taxpayer rights.
  • In short, TAS plays a crucial role in helping taxpayers navigate the complex world of tax laws and regulations, and ensures that their rights and interests are protected.

II. What is TAS?

A. Definition of TAS
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that helps taxpayers who are facing hardship or have unresolved tax issues. TAS provides free assistance to taxpayers and helps to ensure that taxpayers receive fair and equitable treatment from the IRS.

B. Purpose of TAS
The purpose of TAS is to assist taxpayers in resolving their tax issues with the IRS and to help ensure that taxpayers receive the rights and protections guaranteed to them by law. TAS also works to identify areas where the IRS needs to improve its procedures and processes to better serve taxpayers.

C. Objectives of TAS
The objectives of TAS include:

  • To help taxpayers resolve their tax issues with the IRS.
  • To provide taxpayers with a clear understanding of the tax laws and their rights as taxpayers.
  • To ensure that the IRS operates in a fair and equitable manner when dealing with taxpayers.
  • To identify and recommend changes to IRS processes and procedures to improve the level of service provided to taxpayers.
  • To act as an advocate for taxpayers and ensure that their rights are protected.

III. Services Offered by The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

A. Assistance with Tax Issues: TAS provides assistance to taxpayers who are facing tax-related issues that they are unable to resolve with the IRS. This includes help with tax laws and regulations, tax forms and filings, tax account problems, and other tax-related issues. TAS works to ensure that taxpayers receive fair and equitable treatment and that their rights are protected.

B. Representation in Disputes with the IRS: TAS provides representation to taxpayers who are in disputes with the IRS. This can include assistance with audits, appeals, collections, and other types of disputes. TAS works to ensure that taxpayers receive a fair and impartial resolution to their disputes with the IRS.

C. Protection of Taxpayers’ Rights: Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is dedicated to protecting the rights of taxpayers. This includes ensuring that taxpayers receive fair and equitable treatment and that their rights are protected throughout the tax process. TAS also works to ensure that tax laws are administered in a manner that is consistent with the law and does not violate taxpayer rights. This includes advocating for changes in tax laws and regulations that may be necessary to protect the rights of taxpayers.

Update On Restricted Services Offered by TAS as of January 2023

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an organization that is dedicated to helping taxpayers and businesses resolve their issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In order to better serve the taxpayer community, TAS is taking steps to address the IRS tax return inventory backlog by temporarily amending the types of cases they can currently accept.

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For tax year 2021 and earlier, TAS is assisting taxpayers with cases where the IRS has processed the return and made adjustments, and has sent the taxpayer a notice discussing these adjustments. However, TAS is not currently assisting taxpayers with unprocessed tax year 2021 or earlier income tax returns filed by paper and not yet entered into the IRS system. TAS will generally wait 60 days after the IRS shows receipt of the paper return before accepting a case, to allow the IRS an opportunity to process the return through its normal processes. For taxpayers who filed their returns electronically and have experienced a delay in processing, TAS may assist if the TAS case acceptance criteria is met.

For tax year 2022, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is assisting taxpayers with cases where the IRS has processed the return and made adjustments, and has sent the taxpayer a notice discussing these adjustments. TAS is not currently assisting taxpayers with unprocessed tax year 2022 income tax returns filed by paper and not yet entered into the IRS system. TAS will generally wait 60 days after the IRS shows receipt of the paper return before accepting a case, to allow the IRS an opportunity to process the return through its normal processes. For taxpayers who filed their returns electronically and have experienced a delay in processing, TAS may assist if the TAS case acceptance criteria is met.

TAS is also not currently assisting taxpayers with tax year 2022 income tax returns where their refunds have been stopped by the IRS program designed to verify the validity of income documents. TAS will begin accepting these cases after June 30th, as they anticipate being able to advocate for taxpayers whose refunds are still being held by this program at that time.

In conclusion, the Taxpayer Advocate Service is working to help taxpayers and businesses resolve their tax-related issues, and their services are updated regularly. Taxpayers can check the current status of their return by visiting the “Where’s My Refund” or “Where’s My Amended Return” pages on the IRS website. Further information can be found on the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) website at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov.

IV. Eligibility for TAS Assistance

A. Financial Hardship – If a taxpayer is facing financial difficulties or is about to suffer financial hardship, they may be eligible for TAS assistance. This includes cases where the taxpayer is unable to pay their tax debt or meet their basic living expenses.

B. Immediate Threat of Negative Action – If a taxpayer is facing an immediate threat of negative action such as wage garnishment, bank levy, or property seizure, they may be eligible for TAS assistance.

C. Significant Costs Incurred – If a taxpayer will incur significant costs, including fees for professional representation, if relief is not granted, they may be eligible for TAS assistance.

D. Irreparable Injury or Long-Term Adverse Impact – If a taxpayer will suffer irreparable injury or long-term adverse impact if relief is not granted, they may be eligible for TAS assistance. This includes cases where the taxpayer’s rights, financial stability, or ability to continue in business are threatened.

E. IRS System Issues – If a taxpayer has experienced a delay in resolving a tax account problem or has not received a response or resolution to the problem or inquiry by the date promised, they may be eligible for TAS assistance. This also includes cases where an IRS system or procedure has failed to operate as intended or has failed to resolve the taxpayer’s problem or dispute with the IRS.

F. Unfair or Impaired Taxpayer Rights – If the manner in which the tax laws are being administered raises considerations of equity or impairs a taxpayer’s rights, they may be eligible for TAS assistance.

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G. Compelling Public Policy – In certain cases, the National Taxpayer Advocate may determine that compelling public policy warrants assistance to an individual or group of taxpayers. This type of assistance is determined by the National Taxpayer Advocate and will generally be based on a unique set of circumstances.

These eligibility requirements provide a broad framework for TAS assistance, but it is important to note that each case will be evaluated on its own merit. Taxpayers are encouraged to reach out to TAS for a determination of their eligibility for assistance.

V. How to Access TAS Services

A. Steps to Request Assistance from The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

Determine Eligibility: The first step to accessing TAS services is to determine if you are eligible for assistance. You can find more information on eligibility in section IV of this blog.

Gather Information and Documentation: Before you request assistance from TAS, gather all the relevant information and documentation related to your tax issue. This may include tax returns, IRS letters, financial statements, and other documents that support your case.

Contact TAS: You can reach TAS by calling the National Taxpayer Advocate Toll-Free Hotline at 1-877-777-4778. You may also send a letter to the National Taxpayer Advocate office or complete an online intake form on the TAS website.

B. Required Documentation for TAS Assistance
In order to receive The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) assistance, you may be required to provide certain documentation. This may include:

Tax Returns: You may need to provide copies of your tax returns for the years in question.

IRS Letters: Any letters or notices from the IRS related to your tax issue should be provided to TAS.

Financial Statements: Financial statements such as bank statements, pay stubs, or mortgage statements may be necessary to support your case.

Other Relevant Documentation: Depending on your specific situation, TAS may request additional documentation to support your case.

C. Communication with TAS Representatives
Once you have requested assistance from TAS, you will be assigned a representative who will work with you to resolve your tax issue. You can communicate with your TAS representative through phone, email, or in person. It is important to keep your TAS representative updated on any developments related to your case, and to respond to any requests for information in a timely manner. TAS representatives are there to help you, so make sure to take advantage of their expertise and resources.

VI. Conclusion

A. Summary of TAS and Its Benefits
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that helps taxpayers who are experiencing financial hardship, facing an immediate threat of negative action, incurring significant costs, suffering irreparable injury or long-term adverse impact, or experiencing IRS system issues. TAS provides assistance with tax issues, representation in disputes with the IRS, and protection of taxpayers’ rights. The organization is dedicated to ensuring that taxpayers receive fair and impartial treatment from the IRS and that their rights are protected.

TAS offers a wide range of services to eligible taxpayers, including assistance with resolving tax-related problems, representation in disputes with the IRS, protection of taxpayers’ rights, and help with navigating the complex tax system. The organization’s mission is to provide taxpayers with the highest level of assistance and advocacy available within the IRS.

B. Final Thoughts on TAS and Its Importance for Taxpayers
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an invaluable resource for taxpayers who are struggling with tax-related problems. The organization’s commitment to helping taxpayers resolve their issues and protecting their rights is commendable. TAS provides a valuable safety net for taxpayers who are struggling with financial hardship, facing an immediate threat of negative action, incurring significant costs, suffering irreparable injury or long-term adverse impact, or experiencing IRS system issues.

In conclusion, the Taxpayer Advocate Service is an essential resource for taxpayers who need help with resolving tax-related problems. The organization provides a wide range of services to eligible taxpayers and is dedicated to ensuring that taxpayers receive fair and impartial treatment from the IRS. If you are facing tax-related problems, I encourage you to reach out to TAS for help and support.

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