Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

What it is:

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an organization within the Internal Revenue Service that is designed to help taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS

How it works (Example):

The TAS was first formed in 1978. Over time, it gained more responsibilities and authority, primarily as the result of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 and the passage of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The TAS website is www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov.

The TAS's primary duties are to resolve taxpayers' problems with the IRS, identify problem areas in IRS services, and propose changes to mitigate those problems. The TAS provides an annual report to Congress about the quality of IRS services.

The TAS has the authority to issue Taxpayer Assistance Orders (TAOs) if it determines that a taxpayer is "suffering or about to suffer a significant hardship as a result of the manner in which the internal revenue laws are being administered by the Secretary." 

In general, taxpayers may be eligible for assistance if they experience economic harm or significant cost (including fees for professional representation), a delay of more than 30 days to resolve their tax issue, or no response or resolution to a problem by a date promised by the IRS.

Why it Matters:

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is a free service intended to meet the tax needs of businesses and individuals. There is a taxpayer advocate in every state, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.