Sometimes, a complex tax issue—such as a lien or wage garnishment due to tax debt—can’t be resolved by working with the IRS alone. In these situations, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) acts as “your voice at the IRS.” The TAS is an independent branch of the IRS that, in our experience, is both professional and helpful.
The agency helps taxpayers, both individuals and businesses, resolve collection issues. Often, the TAS assists these taxpayers after they have exhausted their options within the IRS itself. In some situations, Taxpayer Advocate offices can speed up the tax resolution process. This is particularly true when a taxpayer is facing economic hardship or an IRS procedure is problematic. TAS also answers more general questions about filing and paying taxes, receiving refunds, and using applicable tax credits, primarily on their website.
How Do I Contact TAS?
To find a taxpayer advocate in your area, check out the IRS’s map and click your state. There is at least one TAS location in every state. Florida has four, with offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. You can request help from TAS using Form 911 (Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance). You can also call the organization at (877) 777-4778 to begin addressing your tax issue.
When you work with an experienced, licensed CPA to resolve your tax problem, you will not need to contact an IRS Taxpayer Advocate office on your own. The tax professionals at East Coast Tax Consulting Group can communicate with both the IRS and TAS on your behalf, including submitting Form 911 and speaking with the local office about your case. For example, in a situation where a taxpayer needed a wage levy released quickly in order to avoid economic hardship, a tax resolution professional submitted a Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance and was in contact with the local TAS office by the next day. At the same time, the tax professional began preparing the taxpayer’s unfiled returns and installment agreement request. TAS was able to work with the IRS quickly and have the garnishment released so that the taxpayer could avoid economic hardship.
When Should I Contact TAS?
Unfortunately, your local IRS Taxpayer Advocate office cannot answer all tax questions or solve every tax problem. The organization is designed to assist taxpayers with tax issues when they cannot pay their taxes, need clarification on a notice from the IRS, or in limited circumstances, didn’t receive a tax refund. The TAS also helps individuals submit suggestions to the IRS based on their experiences with the agency.
There are many other complex tax situations individual and businesses may encounter when working with the IRS. In many cases, a local tax professional well-versed in tax planning, preparation, and resolution may be better suited to address your concerns than a Taxpayer Advocate office. If you’re unsure whether or not to contact TAS, you can use their qualifier tool or speak with a licensed tax professional.