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What is the Taxpayer Advocate Office of the Internal Revenue Service?
The Taxpayer Advocate Office has the responsibility to those taxpayers who have unresolved tax issues or tax problems that cannot be resolved through normal channels.
The Advocate Office strives to enforce professional and ethical behavior. At the end of the day, the advocate office will benefit both the taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service.
- The office is composed of an advocate ombudsmen. The key characteristics of advocate ombudsmen are independence, impartiality and confidentiality. Advocacy is not just about recommending legislative and procedural changes, but it is also about applying independent views to each taxpayer’s case. An advocate conducts an independent and impartial analysis of all information relevant to each of the taxpayer’s problem.
- The method the Taxpayer Advocate uses is to “HEAR the PROBLEM” with no predetermination
- Fully check out and investigate the problem
- Correctly understand the depth of the situation
- Correct the problem
- Request the IRS take another look on applicable cases
- Give the taxpayer their options as they see the case
- Advocates are IRS employees
- IRS Advocates must be objective and fair in their analysis
The Goal of the Taxpayer Advocate Office
- The Taxpayer Advocate Office has roles and responsibilities for all of its managers and employees.
- The Advocate Office will on behalf of individual and business taxpayers in disputes with the IRS make an impartial assessment of the taxpayer’s situation
- Should quickly and accurately address taxpayer problems when there is a failure of systems, policies, or procedures
- Will operate with complete independence while continuing to work toward the IRS mission and serving the taxpayers needs
- Will continuously drive procedural, systemic, and legislative change to benefit taxpayers
- Will professionally serve the tax community
- In addition to serving taxpayers one at a time and based on individual case need, the Taxpayer Advocate will also serve all taxpayers by reporting regularly to the Congress of the United States. The “Systemic Advocacy” organization carries out the second part of the Taxpayer Advocate mission statement, which is to “recommend changes that will prevent problems.” It is the responsibility of the National Taxpayers Advocates Office to keep the United States Congress fully up to date on the success of the office in resolving taxpayer problems, as well as to report any systemic issues that may be adversely affecting taxpayers. The taxpayer advocates office publishes two reports a year that are submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.
- The IRS website gives the report for the Taxpayers Advocates office and is published on the site two times a year.
- The IRS website to find their report is irs.gov
- As a general comment, the panel that reports is excellent and does a good job in their findings. Corrections however come very slowly.
How to Contact the Taxpayers Advocates Office
The toll-free telephone number (1-877-777-4778) is answered in six call sites (Richmond, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Puerto Rico, Atlanta Campus and Fresno Campus.) With the exception of major holidays, calls are answered 5 days a week, 15 hours a day. Saturday service is provided 8 hours a day during filing season. Both English and Spanish assistance is available to customers.
How to best use the Taxpayer Advocates Office
The Taxpayer Advocates office is not for every case. If the IRS Agent or Revenue Officer has done a correct job in the procurement of your case file, the taxpayer gets no relief from this office.