The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent service within the IRS that deals with both helping people with tax problems and with fixing the system so problems will not happen in the future. The TAS offers many benefits that other tax help systems cannot offer.
The biggest benefit of the TAS is free, confidential, individualized service. There are representatives in every state, and each of these representatives is well trained in how to deal with tax issues. Every time you use the service, you will have the same representative; this way, you have someone who understands your situation and can listen and help, rather than having to start over each time with a new representative. Additionally, both individuals and businesses can use the service.
It is important to know that the TAS is supposed to be an option only when normal methods of tax problem resolution have failed. As a result, there are certain situations where the service is primarily used. Usually, you use the TAS when you have not heard back from the IRS, which usually means no response for a period of 30 days or by the date promised by the IRS. Additionally, you may use the service if some sort of tax problem is causing you economic hardship. Generally, the situations that go to the TAS include processing tax returns, levies, and identity theft.
To access the TAS, you can either call the number of your local TAS office or send in a 911 form. The form is available on the IRS website, and either you can fill it our, or an IRS employee can fill it out on your behalf.
If you are having tax problems and have tried several different methods of resolving the issue without success, then the TAS may be right for you. Whether you need the individualized service or a link to someone who has the necessary knowledge, using the Taxpayer Advocate Service can be a useful method to resolving tax issues.