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taxpayer advocate

When to Contact The Taxpayer Advocate

March 20, 2015

Taxpayers may be able to have their IRS issues resolved by using the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). The TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that was created to help taxpayers find solutions to their tax problems. Both individual taxpayers and businesses can use the TAS. The service is free of cost.

Taxpayers who are experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to secure professional representation, or are unhappy with services provided by the IRS, can contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution. They must first contact the IRS, however, to try to resolve the issue. Only after they have tried to handle the problem through normal IRS channels and have not found a solution should they use TAS.

Every taxpayer has certain fundamental rights when dealing with the IRS. Taxpayers may contact TAS if any of their 10 rights included in the tax code are not fulfilled. These rights are:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right to quality service
  3. The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax
  4. The right to challenge the IRS’ position and be heard
  5. The right to appeal an IRS Decision in an independent forum
  6. The right to finality
  7. The right to privacy
  8. The right to confidentiality
  9. The right to retain representation
  10. The right to a fair and just tax system

Taxpayers can review more on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights at this IRS page: The IRS has promoted awareness of these basic taxpayer rights after it was determined that most taxpayers had no knowledge of them.

Common conflicts that arise between taxpayers and the IRS are delays, inappropriate behavior by IRS agents, refusal of cooperation, inefficiency, the disparity in treatment, or refusal to comply with taxpayers’ fundamental rights. Also, problems such as tax debts, failure to file tax returns, difficulties with the resolution of tax debts through IRS payment plans, interest rates, penalties, collection actions, etc. can be resolved using the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

The TAS will assign an advocate who will address the taxpayer’s issue. There is one local taxpayer advocate office in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To contact the TAS in your state, you may visit, or call the toll-free number 877-777-4778. To get basic information about taxes, tax credits, deductions, etc., taxpayers may use the TAS Tax Toolkit at