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Discussion:What is special or different about TAS?

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Discussion Forum Index --> Basic Tax Questions --> What is special or different about TAS?


Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> What is special or different about TAS?

Harry Boscoe (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
Now that I'm becoming a more regular reader of the IRM...

I'm trying to help a client-friend-taxpayer who had a Substitute for Return filed against him, and in reading the general background of SFRs and audit reconsideration in the IRM, I ran across this statement:

4.13.1.5 (12-31-2009)
Taxpayer Advocate Cases (TAS)
1.Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) cases are accepted by TAS based on the specific TAS criteria outlined in IRM 13.1.7.2 . In general, taxpayers suffering an economic burden (TAS criteria 1-4), immediate threat of adverse action, significant costs, irreparable injury, or a significant systematic delay (TAS criteria 5-7) meet TAS criteria. TAS criteria might exist at any point in the Audit Reconsideration process. If you receive a TAS case, every effort should be made to expedite the resolution. [emphases in the original!]

Is there some policy somewhere that somehow makes cases that come through TAS special or different or more deserving or somehow worthy of being "expedited"? And/or am I a crotchety and cynical old man?

What Bullshit. *Every* effort should be made to expedite *every* taxpayer's case *every* time because that is what We the Taxpayers pay the IRS to do, damn it. They are working for us, and we pay them to do things for us, quickly, expediently, accurately and yeah, I guess I am whining.

Maybe this is just a cousin of the Lois Lerner behavior out there in Cincinnati in the 501(c)(4) vetting department...

Harry Boscoe (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
Okay, I've had a cup of coffee now and I'm not going to have to shovel the snow and there's a bagel in the toaster. I feel less crabby already.

Has anyone experienced a *better* or *faster* result in audit reconsideration because the case they were presenting was a Taxpayer Advocate Service case? Is the IRM's emphatic insistence on treating TAS cases more expeditiously borne out in the behavior of the folks who work the audit reconsiderations? Could it possibly speed things up in my situation to pursue TAS on behalf of my friend?

Does anyone have first-hand or even anecdotal experience in this area?

Southparkcpa (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
I have been very disenchanted by the IRS auditors I have worked with recently. This TAS situation I have no opinion of other than the entire process of audit is ridiculous. I have had air tight cases, great books etc but the auditor wanted money. We fought on case law and I felt that they dragged out the process intentionally to wear us down.

I have in fact represented a few clients and capped my fee because I feel it is wrong that a client who has done nothing wrong should have to pay more than say 1 or 2 thousand to be represented. The extra hours forced on them by the IRS is ridiculous. The IRS has unlimited resources , we dont.

Open up your local BIZ journal and see the enormous amount of businesses behind $10K to 100K in 941 tax. If the IRS could focus on this... it would be money well spent.

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
Some of that language you cited is from Sec 7811, which deals with Taxpayer Assistance Orders.

Has anyone experienced a *better* or *faster* result in audit reconsideration because the case they were presenting was a Taxpayer Advocate Service case?

My view is that the Taxpayer Advocate used to be helpful, but not anymore. I don't even bother with them anymore.

Mscash (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
The Taxpayer Advocate wants to get their case resolved so they can move on to the next one. They are supposed to deal with cases where the regular system is not working and not just to take the taxpayer's side in a dispute. In my most recent one the taxpayer was given a time limit to respond then when I called on their behalf I got voicemail and no call back in three attempts. I was in a spot where I couldn't respond timely because the responsible person wasn't there. TAS ran the problem down and got an extension and followed up to make sure it was followed. You can't have every case expidited because that would mamke expidite mean routine processing.

With most SFR cases I have handled, the problem has been that the taxpayer sat on their hands and waits until the firing squad is forming up before deciding they ought to do something. Unless you have a case where a revenue agent was involved if you file an original return that will pass the smell test IRS will normally adjust the tax to what you report.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
Like its predecessor (name I cannot remember), the Taxpayer Advocate became deluged with matters they had not envisioned when it opened.....you only need read through postings here (mostly a couple of years ago) where professionals would advise 'contact the Taxpayer Advocate' for cases of hangnail or jock itch.

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
I believe the TAS has severely limited the cases it will now take on.

Gplourde (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
Link is at http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov//userfiles/file/TAS_change_case_criteria_6_12_12.pdf

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
I kinda feel like IRS makes the TA's job difficult, which makes it look like the TA is doing a poor job and is ineffective. And if the TA is viewed as doing a poor job, by the public and by practitioners, taxpayers won't use the TA, which means the TA will deal with the IRS less, which might be what the IRS wants. Or something like that. Or, maybe more likely, IRS just makes life difficult for the taxpayer, knowing they'll contact the TA. Then the TA gets overwhelmed and can't be effective because there are so many cases to work.

Not sure what it is, but I tend to think there's some internal politics at play between the IRS And the TA.

DaveFogel (talk|edits) said:

17 March 2014
D&T, the predecessor to TAS was the Problem Resolution Program.

I never request Audit Reconsideration because I have to fight the IRS on two fronts -- (1) following up on the Audit Reconsideration case, which the IRS usually takes a year or more to get to, and (2) fighting the collection notices that keep coming out. Instead, filing an OIC based on doubt as to liability (Form 656-L) usually accomplishes the same result, it stops collection cold, and the IRS seems to give it quicker consideration.

Supdat (talk|edits) said:

19 March 2014
The two times I used the Taxpayer Advocate was related to technical issues that the regular IRS personnel were incapable of resolving. In both of those cases, the IRS agent I was working with referred the case to the Taxpayer Advocate. Both cases had to do with Territorial tax issues, which most of the IRS knows next to nothing about. In both of those cases, the Taxpayer Advocate was very helpful in cutting through the IRS bureaucracy to get the case resolved. My sense is that if you reach out to the Taxpayer Advocate on your own, without a referral from an IRS agent, you will not get too far.

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