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Using Tax Assistance Programs #2: Taxpayer Advocate Service

September 20th

back taxesUnlike the Low Income Taxpayer Clinics who exist mostly to help those in dispute, or who are suffering from a one-time problem with their tax debt, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps those who are experiencing more systematic tax troubles.

TAS is an independent organization within the IRS and is considered the public voice at the IRS. They provide a variety of services to those in need, including helping individuals who face tax liens or audits and assisting struggling taxpayers in settling back taxes.

The service is mainly aimed at those who are experiencing significant financial difficulty such as not being able to fund food, housing, or other necessities, as a result of their tax burden. TAS will also assist those who are experiencing tax problems with the IRS, such as audits or severe penalties for unpaid taxes. In addition, TAS will offer guidance or legal assistance to taxpayers who disagree with a decision made by the IRS, or believe a system is not working as it should.

Qualifying for the Taxpayer Advocate Service

TAS exists exclusively for those taxpayers who are experiencing extreme economic distress as a result of their tax troubles. In some cases this might mean not being able to provide necessities as a result of crushing tax debt. In other cases, TAS may assist those who are facing large financial costs, including legal representation.

There is at least one taxpayer advocate office in every state, and also in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Those who think they might qualify can contact a local representative by visiting www.irs.gov/advocate.

 
 
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