IRS' Taxpayer Advocate


R

R

While attending the IRS Tax Forum in Houston, I took a
client's long-standing tax problem, which I've tried to get
resolved through the normal channels in the IRS, to the Case
Resolution group. I met with a Taxpayer Advocate and in one
meeting (albeit nearly two hours), the whole issue was
cleared up. She admitted that the original exam team only
did a half-baked job on the case review. She also didn't
understand why they didn't research all of the information I
had presented. I couldn't believe how simple the problem
was to resolve with a Taxpayer Advocate, considering I had
been going around with the IRS for over a year.

If you have a problem that you can't seem to get settled
with the IRS, I recommend that you seek out a Taxpayer
Advocate in your area. It may save you a lot of headaches
and frustrations. This is what I found out:

1) They are not IRS employees. They work directly for the
Treasury Department, so they are independent of the normal
IRS bureaucracy.

2) They are only for problem resolution, so they don't
process tax returns, get a normal refund expedited, or do
any special favors.

3) They can't change the tax code, so arguing a flimsy case
won't get you anywhere.

It isn't often that I can praise our tax system, but these
guys certainly deserve a "well done" in my book!

Russell Tuncap, CMA, CPA
www.tuncap.com
 
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V

Vic Dura

If you have a problem that you can't seem to get settled
with the IRS, I recommend that you seek out a Taxpayer
Advocate in your area. It may save you a lot of headaches
and frustrations.
I had a similar good experience with the local TA office.
They did a good job getting a problem cleared up; and I told
them so in a "good job" letter that I sent them after the
matter was closed.
 
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T

TaxSrv

R said:
1) They are not IRS employees. They work directly for
the Treasury Department, so they are independent of the
normal IRS bureaucracy.
IRS employees work for Treasury too. So, the result is sort
of two sister agencies under Treasury. On everyday
problems, Taxpayer Advocate Service can't tell IRS what to
do. Under the predecessor Problem Resolution Program, they
couldn't either, but IRS compliance managers had to
cooperate with PRP people or intrafamily squabbles not
serving the t/p affected managerial evaluations. TAS was
made independent to destroy the public image of a PRP
caseworker as just another IRS employee, but that doesn't
make it effective internally per se. Time will tell.
...She admitted that the original exam team only
did a half-baked job on the case review.
Sounds like they're not getting along no more. Open
collection and exam matters have to be merely referred to
the functions to discretionally fix as in the past. If the
exam people get wind of that remark, cooperation on the next
referral can't be assumed. Maybe she was just having a bad
day. In an exam case, it's possible a t/p contacting the
exam manager directly, rather than TAS, is a better
solution. Same thing is accomplished, minus the new TAS
bureaucracy, and no critique of people's performance by an
independent agency.
 
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