CPA & Business Advisory Blog

Need help dealing with the IRS? Taxpayer Advocate Services (TAS) may be able to assist you

TAS is designed to be a "safety net" for taxpayers who are experiencing problems with the IRS.  TAS is an independent organization within the IRS and helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommend changes that will prevent the problems.

TAS recently changed its case acceptance criteria.  Cases they will accept tend to fall into four categories:

  1. Where a taxpayer is experiencing some financial difficulty, emergency, or hardship, and the IRS needs to move much faster than it usually does under its normal procedures.
  2. Where many different IRS units and steps are involved, and the case needs a "traffic cop" to make sure everyone does their part.
  3. Where the taxpayer has tried to resolve a problem through normal IRS channels but those channels have broken down.
  4. Where the taxpayer is presenting unique facts or issues and the IRS is applying a "one size fits all" approach, isn't listening to the taxpayer, or doesn't recognize that it needs new guidance for those circumstances.

Since TAS couldn't possibly help all six to 12 million taxpayers how may be having problems at any given time, below are examples of the kinds of cases they will and won't accept.

Example 1: A taxpayer has more than one issue.  The normal processing time for an amended return is approximately eight to 12 weeks.  The taxpayer filed a 2010 Form 1040X more than four months ago expecting a refund, but also has an outstanding balance for tax year 2009 and is receiving IRS collection notices.  The 2010 refund would pay the balance in full and leave a small amount for the taxpayer.  TAS will accept the inquiry and establish a case because expediting the process will resolve a collection issue.

Example 2: A taxpayer has a single issue.  The taxpayer filed a 2010 Form 1040X more than four months ago expecting a refund but this time has no audit or collection issues and is not facing an economic burden.  TAS won't open a case, but instead will refer the matter to the appropriate IRS unit.

More information about TAS can be found here:

Do you need assistance dealing with an IRS issue?  Contact our Tax Planning and Preparation Group at 440-449-6800.

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