The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) — “Your Voice at the IRS”
Mission Statement: As an independent organization within the IRS, we help taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommend changes that will prevent the problems.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. Taxpayers may be eligible for assistance if they:
- Are experiencing economic harm or significant cost (including fees for professional representation),
- Have experienced a delay of more than 30 days to resolve your tax issue, or
- Have not received a response or resolution to the problem by the date that was promised by the IRS.
The service is free, confidential, tailored to meet taxpayer needs, and available for businesses as well as individuals. There is at least one local taxpayer advocate in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and at each IRS campus. Because advocates are part of the IRS, they know the tax system and how to navigate it. If taxpayers qualify, they will receive personalized service from a knowledgeable advocate who will:
- Listen to their problems,
- Help them understand what needs to be done to resolve the problems, and
- Stay with them every step of the way until the problems are resolved.
The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA)
NTA Nina Olson leads the TAS program. By law, the NTA must submit two reports to Congress each year: the Annual Report to Congress and the Fiscal Year Objectives Report. For more information, click on the National Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report button on the left side of the page.
More TAS Facts
- More than 247,000 taxpayers came to TAS for help in fiscal year 2007.
- The three most common issues in TAS’s case inventory for FY07 were levies, processing amended tax returns, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
- Congress has enacted numerous legislative recommendations from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Reports to Congress.
- TAS maintains Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA) offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and at each IRS campus. IRS Publication1546 (PDF), “Taxpayer Advocate Service – Your Voice at the IRS,” contains a list of TAS offices (and is also available in Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese).
- LTAs are independent of the local IRS management and report directly to the National Taxpayer Advocate.
- TAS grew out of the Taxpayer Ombudsman Office, which the IRS established in 1979.
- The Ombudsman Office was replaced by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate in 1996. In 1998, Congress renamed the “Taxpayer Advocate” the “National Taxpayer Advocate” and granted the office expanded authority to assist taxpayers.
For more information, visit the TAScast Videos page of this site.