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When and How to Use the Taxpayer Advocate Service

February 17th, 2010 by Filed under: Tax Help

taxpayer-advocateWhat is the Taxpayer Advocate

The IRS is complex and inefficient. Have you ever tried getting a quick answer or response from the IRS? It is a fact that many people have problems navigating the IRS and getting results. Every year there will be many people that will not be able to resolve their tax problems through the normal IRS channels. The Taxpayer Advocate service was created to help those individuals that have tried resolving their problems on their own and their attempts have failed. There are about 2,500 employees in the taxpayer advocate that are spread out around the country. The employees at the Taxpayer Advocate are trained to better navigate the IRS channels and get answers and results. The normal time to get a tax problem resolved through the Taxpayer Advocate is around 10-30 days, which is excellent compared to the normal navigation channels.

Do I qualify to use their services?

The taxpayer advocate was created in order to help those individuals that are facing economic hardship because of IRS tax problem and they have not been able to resolve their problem through the normal IRS channels. Below are the three factors that the IRS uses to determine if an individual can use the Taxpayer Advocate Services.

  1. You are experiencing economic hardship due to your tax problem, even due to the fees of using tax professionals
  2. There was a delay of 30 days or more when you tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels
  3. You have not received a response from the IRS by the date that they promised you

If you meet the criteria for any of the 3 items listed above it is likely the Taxpayer Advocate service will help you. The service they offer is free and they will stick with you until your tax problem has been resolved.

How do I contact the Taxpayer Advocate?

There is a Taxpayer Advocate located in each state. If you want to request help you can call, visit, or fax the nearest Taxpayer Advocate Service office. If you don’t know the number of the closest Taxpayer Advocate Service office you can call (800) 829-4059 (locations of Taxpayer Advocate Services). Chances are, you won’t be able to get in contact with a person on the first call, you will be required to leave your information and wait for a response. It is also a good idea to send a letter that clarifies your problem. The more you can detail your problem, the easier it will be for them to decide if you qualify for their services. Once they review your case they will decide if you qualify and will assign an employee to your case.

Do States offer same services as the IRS?

Many states do have Taxpayer Advocate services that will help individuals and businesses resolve state tax issues that could not be resolved through their normal channels. To find out the contact information for your state, you can use our state tax relief guide and select your state to get specific instructions on contacting your states taxpayer advocate services.

Having Trouble Getting Help at the Taxpayer Advocate?

Sometimes the taxpayer advocate cannot help individuals in the time frame needed. Here at backtaxeshelp.com, we provided many do-it-yourself guides on resolving just about every tax problem you can have. We can also connect you with the appropriate tax professional to help you if you cannot resolve on your own. Read more of our guides that can help resolve your tax problem.


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