Taxpayers have certain rights, both on the federal level, as well as on the state level. Unfortunately, when dealing with large bureaucracies like the IRS, it can be hard for the average individual to understand his or her rights and seek recourse or remedies in situations when those rights are not respected. That’s where taxpayer advocates can help.
A taxpayer advocate program is designed to allow individuals to get at least some assistance with IRS issues, as well as issues involving the Florida Department of Revenue.
While taxpayer advocates can assist you in many different ways, their services are sometimes limited when it comes to providing tax debt help. If you are trying to deal with issues related to your personal or business back taxes, you may need to work with a professional tax resolution service that has experience in finding workable solutions for tax debt issues.
What Do Taxpayer Advocates Do?
The Internal Revenue Service explains that the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is “your voice at the IRS.” They try to help individuals understand their rights and resolve tax problems that they have been otherwise unable to solve. The services provided by TAS are free and the IRS indicates that taxpayer advocates can help if:
- You have tax problems that are causing you, your family, or your business to experience some type of financial stress.
- You or your company is at risk of immediate adverse IRS action.
- You have tried repeatedly to get in contact with the IRS and the IRS either has not responded at all or has not gotten in contact with you to provide a response that was promised to you by a given date.
Each state has at least one independent local taxpayer advocate that is separate from the IRS and reports only to the National Taxpayer Advocate. In Florida there are three local taxpayer advocates. They are located in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg. To find the advocate closest to your location, you can call 1-877-777-4778.
Taxpayers not only have rights when it comes to dealing with the IRS but also have rights when it comes to dealing with the Florida Department of Revenue. The Florida legislature passed a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights in 1992, and one of those rights is: “the right to request assistance from a taxpayers’ rights advocate of the Department who shall be responsible for facilitating the resolution of taxpayer complaints and problems not resolved through normal administrative channels.”
Knowing how to get help from a taxpayer advocate is essential if you have a problem with the IRS or Department of Revenue and you feel you have exhausted your options for resolving the issue. However, you need to be aware that a taxpayer rights advocate will likely be unable to provide you with all of the services or assistance that can be provided by tax relief consultants if you are seeking tax debt help. Contact East Coast Tax Consulting Group as soon as possible to discuss your particular issues.