The National Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is designed to help you, the taxpayer resolves your issues with the IRS when normal channels of resolution have failed. The TAS is an independent body that reports directly to Congress so they help keep the IRS in check. The TAS offers its services for free but there are some eligibility criteria you must fulfill. Click here to read or watch more IRS Help resources. Here they are:
1. Economic harm or potential economic harm
If an IRS collection action has resulted in financial and economic distress to you, for example, you are threatened with eviction or foreclosure, or you cannot afford to pay your utilities, then you qualify. However, you will have to substantiate the hardship.
2. Imminent IRS adverse action
If you are on the verge of some enforcement action by the IRS against you with written notice having been given, then you are eligible for TAS help.
3. Significant costs (including legal fees for professional representation)
If you will incur significant costs in the immediate future if relief is not granted, then you qualify for TAS.
4. Irreparable injury or long-term adverse impact
Without a resolution to your tax problem, you will be subject to serious injury or adversity in the long term. This is a criterion for TAS help.
5. Delay of more than 30 days
If you have waited for more than 30 days after the time the IRS set to resolve a tax problem, you are eligible for TAS assistance.
6. No response within deadline
When you have not even heard from the IRS by the time a deadline has elapsed, you should approach the TAS for help.
7. IRS system or procedural failure
If an internal IRS system or procedure has caused the problem, then you may be eligible for TAS assistance. For example, you experience a delay in your tax return processing because the IRS failed to give you credit for a full payment made on your past taxes and now your present year’s tax refund is being withheld due to this.
8. Improper administration of tax laws
If you are a victim of unfair administration of any tax law, or your rights as a taxpayer have been violated due to this, then you qualify for TAS help.
9. Compelling public policy
If the National Taxpayer Advocate has determined that compelling public policy warrants assistance to you, then you qualify.
If you are already subject to collection procedures by the IRS such as wage garnishment, bank levies etc, the TAS cannot remove such actions. But the TAS does know IRS policy and how to help you navigate it. The advocate will listen to you, help you understand what needs to be done to resolve it and guide you every step of the way until your problem is resolved.
To contact the TAS, call the toll-free line at 1-877-777-4778. For more information, refer to IRS Publication 1546.