IRS Dispute Resolution Using the Taxpayer Advocate ProgramMay 25, 2016 | By Erik Lincoln
Generally speaking, the Taxpayer Advocate can offer assistance with the IRS if, as a result of the application of the tax law, the taxpayers is suffering, or about to suffer, a significant hardship, is facing an immediate threat or adverse action; will suffer irreparable injury or long term adverse impact; has experienced a delay of more than thirty days to resolve the issue; or has not received a response or resolution by the date promised. Additionally, a taxpayer may contact the Taxpayer Advocate if all established systems or procedures have failed to operate as intended to resolve the problem or dispute.
The assistance that the Advocate may offer includes, but is not limited to, the issuance of a TAO. This important function of the Advocate’s office should always be considered where a taxpayer is facing significant hardship and traditional methods of dealing with the problem have not been successful. This can be helpful in many ways. For example, a TAO can direct an IRS unit to release a taxpayer’s property from a levy, or to review a decision made in an innocent spouse case.
Importantly, the Taxpayer Advocate has been delegated authority to fully resolve a large number of taxpayer cases without having to refer the case to other parts of the IRS. TAS personnel are now able to resolve many issues themselves, eliminating the time consuming step of referring such matters to other function in the IRS. This authority supplements the authority provided to the National Taxpayer Advocate by statute. To secure a TAO, you must complete Form 911, “Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order,” and attached a validly executed Power of Attorney (Form 2848).
A complete list of all Taxpayer Advocate offices, including phone numbers can be found in Publication 1546. Further, a twenty-four hour toll-free telephone number (877-777-4778) is available to contact the Advocate.