Unclear on the Concept

Today TaxMama needs to explain the purpose of the Taxpayers Advocate Service, based on  a misconception expressed in the TaxQuips Forum.  Peter says his problem is in the hands of the Taxpayers Advocate. So he’s just going to sit back and wait for them to take care of everything.

Dear Family,

The Taxpayers Advocate Service (TAS) is a wonderful and magical, and independent department of the IRS. They can perform miracles for people who are miserable, depressed and frustrated with their experiences at IRS.  http://www.irs.gov/advocate/article/0,,id=212313,00.html

But they cannot do your job. They cannot prepare your tax returns for you.

What can they do?

When IRS is unresponsive, or is acting excessively slowly on your case, TAS can step in, identify the problem and get it corrected or speeded up.

When you are facing intense collections actions, like liens, levies, and wage garnishments – and you’re about to be evicted from your home, or face other dire consequences, TAS can step in and get an emergency hold on collections actions.

Remember, although they are eager and wiling to help you, TAS staff is limited.  They are a fraction of the size of IRS. They can provide temporary, emergency help. But the hold on collections will not stay in effect forever. It is still up to you to get your tax return prepared.

In this particular case, I am seeing an individual who seems to have the time and understanding to research his problem with his tax professional, the “Tax Law Department” of something(?), and to identify all the ways and reasons not to solve his problem. Instead of devoting his time to reading a couple of IRS publications and just getting things done himself. Yes, tax laws can be confusing! It always astonishes me when people in business think they can prepare their own tax returns. But in an emergency? Buckle down and do it yourself.  This is not something TAS will do for you.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about the Taxpayers Advocate Service and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed TaxQuips, you’d be getting other exciting news and tips by e-mail, that never appear on the site. Please click on the join TaxMama.com link – it’s free!]

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