If there’s anything as disconcerting as having the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) call you about a problem, it’s having to call them. Most people don’t know how to resolve IRS problems. As a result, dealing with the agency causes anxiety in many taxpayers. But, the IRS has a process to make resolving disputes with them easier. It’s called the Taxpayer Advocate Service, and there are offices in every state.
A tax dispute is eligible for the Problem Resolution Program if it falls into any of the following categories:
- you have tried repeatedly to contact the IRS to resolve the problem but no contact could be established;
- the agency did not respond to your call by the date it promised;
- the routine IRS channels of communication failed you for any reason; or
- it’s in your best interest, or that of the IRS, to use the program.
Becky’s Take on How to Resolve IRS Problems
For example, Becky Stewart used the Taxpayer Advocate Service. She received her tax refund in the mail—only to discover the check was hundreds of dollars short. She could pretty much guess the reason for the problem. She suspected the IRS had failed to allow a deduction for the purchase of a personal computer her employer required for her home use as a telecommuter.
A phone conversation with a representative—called a local taxpayer advocate—of the program, confirmed her suspicions. So, resolving IRS problems just needed documented proof from Becky. A letter from Becky’s employer, documenting that the equipment was required as a condition of employment, had somehow become separated from her tax return. Becky re-sent a copy of the letter to the IRS and, now, with the agency’s agreement, expects to receive the additional refund check within several weeks.
What to Expect If You Call
Your problem may be more or less complicated than Becky’s and, thus, resolving IRS problems may take more or less time. However, the IRS says every taxpayer can expect the following: polite handling of the dispute; follow-up within seven days of the initial call; an estimate of how long it will take to settle the case; and a quick resolution.
To make resolving IRS problems easier for you, be prepared to provide the following information:
- your Social Security or employer identification number
- the tax year(s) and type(s) of return involved
- a detailed description of the dispute
- information on your previous attempts to resolve the problem
The taxpayer advocate you speak with will identify himself or herself by an IRS number, in addition to a name. Be sure to jot down this number for your records, in case you need to call or follow-up again later.
For More Information
Click here to view Publication No. 1546, or call 1-800-829-3676. To locate the Problem Resolution Program office nearest you, call 1-800-829-1040. Skip over the touch-tone menu and wait for an operator. Then ask the operator in detail about how to resolve IRS problems.
Program assistance and you will be connected to someone who will provide the address and telephone number of the nearest IRS office with a taxpayer advocate. You can go there for prompt resolution of your problems with ease.
In case you are wondering if your cash app and market transactions will be reported to IRS, you may read our interesting article here.
Although most taxpayers could probably live fulfilled lives without ever having direct interaction with the IRS, if you do have an unresolved tax problem there’s no need for unnecessary panic or avoidance anymore. Courteous, quick, and professional service is at hand with a call to your local taxpayer advocate.