Taxpayer Advocate

Taxpayer Advocate

The mission of the Taxpayer Advocate is to:

  • Help taxpayers solve problems with the IRS and recommend changes that will prevent those problems from reoccurring
  • The Taxpayer Advocates have been folded into the National Taxpayer Advocate Service to establish an independent channel for taxpayers that are having problems with a specific case.
  • The Taxpayer Advocate other role is to address systemic problems within the IRS and identifying issues that cause taxpayers problems.
  • Taxpayer Advocates provide local points of contact for taxpayers.
  • Each state and Service Center also has a Taxpayer Advocate.


The Taxpayer Advocate

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 strengthened the Taxpayer Advocate and renamed the position the National Taxpayer Advocate.

  • The National Taxpayer Advocate is appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the IRS Oversight Board.
  • The purpose of the Taxpayer Advocate is to help the taxpayer solve problems with the IRS when the normal processes and procedures do not work.
  • The Taxpayer Advocate will usually suspend pending collection action until the issue in question is reviewed.
  • As a rule, the sooner the Taxpayer Advocate assistance is requested, the sooner the issue will be resolved.
  • Requesting intervention by the Taxpayer Advocate as soon as the necessary criteria are met should be done at the earliest opportunity
  • Going forward, the National Taxpayer Advocate must have substantial experience in customer service, tax law and representing taxpayers.
  • An individual cannot be the National Taxpayer Advocate if that person was an officer or employee of the IRS during the two-year period ending on the date of appointment- an exception is made for members of the Taxpayer Advocate’s staff .
  • The individual must also agree not to accept other employment within the IRS for five years following leaving the position of Taxpayer Advocate.
  • Annually, the National Taxpayer Advocate must issue a report to Congress identifying the tax areas which are creating significant compliance burdens for taxpayers or the IRS and how best to resolve those issues.
  • The toll free number for the National Taxpayer Advocate is (877) 777-4778

Taxpayer Assistance Orders

A Taxpayer Advocate is authorized to issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order (TAO) if the taxpayer is found to be suffering or about to suffer a significant hardship as a result of the way the tax laws are being administered.

  • TAO’s are intended to provide the taxpayer with an easy and inexpensive way to resolve disputes with the IRS
  • There purpose is not to contest the law re: the tax liability.
  • The TAO procedure is not a substitute for established administrative or judicial review procedures.
  • TAO’s can be an effective tool in stopping unreasonable examination or collection activity.
  • Often the threat of a TAO is often sufficient to cause a Revenue Agent or Revenue Officer to rethink the proposed course of action.

The TAO process starts with the taxpayer or taxpayer’s representative filing a Form 911

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2 Responses to “Taxpayer Advocate”

  1. Tax Resolution University » Blog Archive » Frequently Asked Tax Problem Questions Says:

    [...] The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an IRS program that provides an independent system to assure hat the tax problems that [...]

  2. Tax Resolution University » Blog Archive » IRS Operating Divisions Says:

    [...] here to learn about the taxpayer [...]

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