Taxpayer Advocate Service: A Resource for Tax Professionals

By:
Kim E. Randle, Acting Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA)
Published Date:
Jan 1, 2017

The IRS's Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) can help you help your clients. If your client is having a tax problem that you haven’t been able to resolve on your own, our advocates may be able to help. Your client may be eligible for our help if his or her IRS problem is causing financial difficulty, or if you believe an IRS procedure just isn't working as it should.

What is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?

TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. Our job is to ensure that all taxpayers are treated fairly and that they know and understand their rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights describes ten basic rights that all taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. Our Taxpayer Rights web page can help you understand what these rights mean to you and your clients and how they apply. These are your client’s rights. Know them. Use them.

How can TAS help tax professionals with their clients?

If you have a power of attorney, we will work directly with you and the IRS to get your client’s issue resolved. If your client meets TAS’s case-acceptance criteria, here is what we will do:

  • Listen impartially.
  • Assign an advocate who will help you help your client.
  • Give you a direct telephone number to reach your advocate.
  • Make sure you understand your client’s rights and how to protect them.

For example, TAS helped stop a lien filed against a taxpayer who couldn’t afford to pay a balance due. For more examples of how TAS assists taxpayers, go to the How We’ve Helped section on our website. You can also use TAS’s website to help your clients. Our website contains self-help videos and information about several common tax topics you can share with your clients to help answer their questions. We also created four ACA Estimators that help individual and business taxpayers understand how Affordable Care Act provisions affect them. 

How else does TAS help taxpayers?

In addition to assisting taxpayers with account-specific problems, TAS works to resolve systemic problems that affect groups of taxpayers. TAS looks at patterns in taxpayer issues to determine whether an IRS process or procedure is causing a problem and, if so, to recommend steps to resolve the problem. For example, more than 4,000 employees of a city received IRS assessment notices because the city sent inaccurate information to the Social Security Administration on Forms W-2. TAS quickly worked with the IRS to correct the mistake. If you are aware of a systemic problem like this, please report it to us at irs.gov/sams. Each year, the National Taxpayer Advocate presents an Annual Report to Congress, identifying at least 20 of the most serious problems facing taxpayers.

How can you reach us?

We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, including several offices in New York State. To find your nearest Local Taxpayer Advocate’s office, go to taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/contact-us or call us at 1-877-777-4778.


RandleKim E. Randle, Acting Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA), leads the TAS office located in Manhattan. As the Acting Manhattan LTA, Kim represents the National Taxpayer Advocate within the Manhattan community. In addition to helping taxpayers, Kim has conducted outreach to congressional town hall events as well as to the local community to educate on significant issues affecting taxpayers. Prior to joining TAS, Kim worked under the Small Business/Self-Employed (SBSE) Division in the Collection Organization of the IRS for 19 years, holding positions as a revenue officer, offer-in-compromise specialist and advisor. In addition, she managed teams of revenue officers primarily responsible for the collection of delinquent taxes and securing delinquent tax returns through the fair and equitable application of the tax laws. Kim is also a member of the New York City Geographic Leadership Committee, an organization responsible for bridging the gap between organizations through networking, mentoring, empowerment and community building. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College of the City University of New York where she majored in economics with a minor in finance.

 
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