Taxpayer Advocate Service: IRS Help and Resources

Taxpayer Advocate Service: IRS Help and Resources

The Taxpayer Advocate Service, often referred to as TAS, is an independent entity within the IRS helping taxpayers with financial hardship or in need of tax resources and information.

TAS also helps taxpayers with IRS tax issues to make sure everyone is treated fairly and knows their IRS rights.

What Information and Resources Does the Taxpayer Advocate Service Provide to Help Solve Tax Issues?

Taxpayer Advocate Service provides useful information to help you learn more about specific tax topics and issues.

TAS offers the following tax resources:

  • Tax Tips: Before you file a federal tax return, you can read TAS tax tips for EITC and tax credits, choosing a tax return preparer, free file options, requesting an extension to file, and more.
  • Tax Assistance and Counseling: TAS offers free tax assistance and counseling to help you navigate the IRS.
  • Tax Return Preparation (Low-Income & Elderly): The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) prepares basic e-file tax returns for taxpayers making $56,000 or less. Additionally, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program (TCE) offers taxpayers older than 60 free tax assistance.
  • Resolving Disputes (Low-Income): TAS may assist low-income individuals as a taxpayer advocate when there’s a tax dispute with the IRS. The service provides education and outreach to taxpayers and can represent them with the IRS or in court audits, appeals, and other tax issues.
  • Taxpayer Bill of Rights: TAS website can help you understand your IRS rights as a taxpayer. TAS shares several Taxpayer Bill of Rights examples for unique tax situations.

There’s also information for checking refund status, tax errors and mistakes, amended returns, IRS notices, IRS audits, and small business taxes.

What Is the Taxpayer Advocate phone number?

You can call the toll-free number for the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 1-877-777-4778.

Where Is My Local Taxpayer Advocate Office?

TAS has a local taxpayer advocate office in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. If you need to speak with a taxpayer advocate, visit the TAS contact page, select your state from the drop-down list, and call the number for the local taxpayer advocate office that’s closest to you.

What Is the TAS Qualifier Tool?

The TAS Qualifier tool is an online platform that helps taxpayers determine whether the Taxpayer Advocate Service can assist them. TAS helps taxpayers whose tax issues fall into these categories:

  • Financial Hardship: When you’re experiencing a financial hardship or economic burden and IRS actions lead to even more adverse financial difficulty. You will need to describe the economic burden and provide relevant documentation to verify your hardship and show costs you’ll incur if the IRS doesn’t provide relief.
  • IRS System Issues: IRS system issues may occur when an IRS process, system, procedure, or internal revenue code fails to work as expected. As a results of these issues, you’re experiencing an IRS delay in addressing your tax problem.
  • Fair and Equitable Treatment: TAS ensures you receive fair and equitable treatment and that your IRS rights as a taxpayer are protected, especially tax law equity and public policy.

It is important to note that even when the TAS qualifier tool indicates that the Taxpayer Advocate Service may help you with your tax issue, a taxpayer advocate will make the final determination.

How Do I Request an IRS Taxpayer Advocate?

To request an IRS taxpayer advocate, you must submit Form 911 to the IRS. Visit the IRS website to fill out the form online. IRS Form 911 requirements include:

  • Financial Difficulties: Your tax issue causes an economic burden for you, your family, or your business.
  • Immediate Threat: You or your business faces a threat of adverse action due to financial issues.
  • No Response From IRS: An IRS office fails to provide the tax assistance you requested by a specific date promised or there has been a delay of more than 30 days.

If you qualify, TAS will assign you a dedicated taxpayer advocate to review your tax issue. Once your case is assigned to an IRS taxpayer advocate, they will review the problem independently and objectively and keep you updated on progress. The taxpayer advocate will also advise you on steps to take to avoid future tax issues.

Note that due to IRS tax return processing delays, you can experience lengthy wait times to speak with a taxpayer advocate, and it can take up to 4 weeks for TAS to reply to your assistance request.

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