IRS Giving You Headaches?

A recent call to the IRS has ended in frustration for many taxpayers. The agency’s dwindling budget, compounded by the COVID-caused backlog of returns, has left few employees available to answer phone calls. Not being able to reach a human being causes significant anxiety for taxpayers whose finances are suffering due to a dispute (or even a simple misunderstanding) with the IRS. 

Taxpayer Advocate Service

Some taxpayers may find some utility out of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization within the federal agency that bills itself as “Your Voice at the IRS.” The TAS, which is often referred to as the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, employs more than 1,000 Case Advocates who help taxpayers get answers about their matters with the IRS. 

How the TAS Helps Taxpayers

Case Advocates with the TAS are authorized to assist taxpayers who have not obtained a response from the IRS about their issue by the date the IRS promised a response. Taxpayers who have experienced delays of 30 days or longer when dealing with an IRS issue may also qualify for TAS assistance.

To make it easier for taxpayers to determine their eligibility for TAS assistance, the organization offers an online screening tool. The screening process lays out nine eligibility criteria; the first four involve current or future negative financial impacts from IRS inaction. The final two reasons deal with “fair and equitable treatment” in light of tax law and policy. 

Reasons five, six, and seven are often the most salient eligibility criteria for our clients. Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL helps taxpayers with high-stakes IRS disputes. Our clients depend on professional and timely service from IRS representatives to resolve issues.

  • Reason five deals with 30-day delays (or longer) for tax-account problem resolutions; 
  • Reason six involves lack of responsiveness past the date the IRS promised a response; and 
  • Reason seven gives TAS eligibility to taxpayers when an IRS procedure or system has failed to operate as intended, or failed to resolve a problem dispute with the IRS. This applies to correspondence, office, and field audits, as well as IRS appeals. 

The TAS website also provides information on common notices the IRS sends to taxpayers. Another potentially helpful feature is the digital roadmap. The digital roadmap illustrates IRS processes relating to almost any type of notice, demystifying the often-labyrinthian IRS protocols.  

TAS Assistance is Limited

As of mid-September 2021, in-person TAS offices are closed and, like the IRS itself, experiencing a high volume of inquiries. Therefore, it’s important to temper your expectations before reaching out to the TAS for help with a federal tax dispute. Nevertheless, this independent organization is a good first stop for many taxpayers frustrated about the lack of resolution with their IRS issue. 

Whether or not you engage with the TAS is immaterial to the need for experienced tax counsel. Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL focuses on helping individuals who are in high-stakes IRS disputes. We will aggressively defend your rights and work tirelessly to put you in a better position. Let us know how we can help.

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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