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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Making the Flight

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.

A power of attorney (POA) called TAS for help resolving a client’s balance due. The POA had submitted documents to the IRS showing that the taxpayer did not owe taxes for the sale of a house. The documents were not accepted, and the IRS adjusted the taxpayer’s account, creating a large balance due. The taxpayer received a letter from the State Department, stating that his passport could not be renewed due to this federal tax debt. The taxpayer needed a passport so he could travel to Europe to fulfill a job contract.  

The POA’s inquiry was assigned to a case advocate, who determined the POA had submitted the correct documents but did not include a supporting form. The case advocate requested the missing form and proof of travel, and forwarded the documents to the IRS for expedited consideration. The tax liability was reduced within eight days of the case being assigned, and the taxpayer was once again eligible for passport renewal. However, the taxpayer’s flight was only 24 days away.

The case advocate asked the IRS to immediately notify the State Department so the taxpayer could renew his passport in time to travel to fulfill his job contract. The IRS denied the request, stating the documentation TAS provided did not constitute proof of travel. The case advocate reached out to the POA to secure additional documentation and elevated the case to the Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA), who contacted the IRS to discuss their decision.  The LTA pointed out that failing to act would harm the taxpayer by impeding his ability to earn a living. Within 24 hours, the IRS complied and notified the State Department that the taxpayer was eligible for passport renewal. The taxpayer was able to get his passport renewed in time to fly to Europe and fulfill his job contract.

The case advocate stated: “This is the reason I wanted to work for the Taxpayer Advocate Service when I first started working for the IRS 14 years ago. To be there to help a taxpayer get a resolution. When we all come together, amazing things can happen.” 

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?

Can TAS help me with my tax issue?

Learn more about whether TAS can help you.

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