Every year the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer issues. All personal details are removed to protect the privacy of the taxpayer.
Since 1998, Congress has authorized funding for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) to provide free or low-cost legal representation and tax assistance to low-income taxpayers. TAS partners with LITCs throughout the country. We are happy to share one recent example of the effective partnerships between TAS and LITCs.
An LITC contacted a local TAS office to assist one of their clients with a pending Offer in Compromise (OIC). The taxpayer had submitted an OIC to the IRS to settle their debt for less than the full amount owed. A one-time payment the taxpayer received in a previous year made it appear that the taxpayer would have insufficient withheld taxes for the current year. Following procedure, based off the previous year’s income the IRS requested that the taxpayer submit an estimated tax (ES) payment without considering the taxpayer’s current year circumstances. The taxpayer was expecting a refund for the current year and disagreed with the IRS’s request.
As Power of Attorney for the taxpayer, the LITC contacted the TAS office directly for assistance. Knowing the taxpayer had only 30 days from the date of the IRS’s request to respond, the Taxpayer Advocate Group Manager decided to personally work the case. TAS educated the taxpayer about their right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard. TAS also took immediate action to assist the taxpayer. First, TAS confirmed that all collection actions were suspended, preventing the IRS from pursuing any harmful collection actions, such as imposing a levy or lien. Next, TAS issued an expedited referral to the IRS, notifying the OIC unit that the taxpayer’s ES payment amount was incorrectly calculated based on a one-time payment the taxpayer received the previous year. Since the taxpayer had no ES payment requirement, TAS advocated to have the ES payment requirement waived. As a result of TAS’s intervention, the IRS complied, and also accepted the taxpayer’s OIC. The taxpayer was elated at this outcome, and the LITC representing the taxpayer also thanked TAS for their diligent advocacy.
When working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, each individual or business taxpayer is assigned to an advocate who listens to the problem and helps the taxpayer understand what needs to be done to resolve their tax issue. TAS advocates will do everything they can to help taxpayers and work with them every step of the way. Occasionally we feature stories of taxpayers and advocates who work together to resolve complex tax issues. Read more TAS success stories.
Learn more about whether TAS can help you: Can TAS help me with my tax issue?