If you have a tax problem that you can’t resolve through normal channels, the IRS Taxpayer Advocate is there to help you. Yes, they are a division of the great collector, so they are not really in your corner, but the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service can help cut the red tape.
If your case is assigned to a Revenue Officer, and the RO has been unprofessional, the Taxpayer Advocate might guide you on how to move them aside. If you are in the Automated Collection Group (no one is assigned to your case), the IRS Taxpayer Advocate can help to get someone assigned to you… which may be better than arguing with a computer.
Specifically, the IRS Taxpayer Advocate is expected to help if:
- you are suffering or about to suffer a significant hardship;
- you are facing an immediate levy or other taking that is unfair, especially if an agent is not assigned to your case;
- you will incur significant cost (including fees for legal representation) because of the taking – usually these costs should be disproportionate to the amount of tax to be collected;
- the IRS agent has been dragging his feet for more than 30 days and this is causing you harm;
- the agent has not responded by the date he promised;
- IRS systems or procedures have failed to operate as intended to resolve the problem or dispute. In other words your case has fallen through the cracks or you have been bogged down in red tape. The IRS Taxpayer Advocate is there to get things moving again… not necessarily in the direction you want, but moving none the less.
You may apply to the Taxpayer Advocate by filing IRS Form 911, Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order, or by calling the Service at (877) 777-4778. Remember that filing Form 911 stops the 10 year Collection Statute, so be careful in using or over using the Taxpayer Advocate Service… and always remember that they are not there to “advocate” for you… but rather to get things moving when the normal procedures fail.