You have a friend in the IRS . . . . No, really, you do.

You have a friend in the IRS . . . . No, really you do.Well maybe not a real friend, but an ally. Better known as the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS, and while not actually your BFF, they are your voice at the IRS. The Taxpayer Advocate Service helps taxpayers, whether business or individual, whose problems might be causing financial difficulties or whose issues are unresolved through normal channels.

There’s a “firewall” before you can get to the Taxpayer Advocate Service, however. You must try to solve your problem directly with the IRS through their normal procedures. If you feel that the IRS has treated you badly, given you bad advice, or suspect the agent is procrastinating and not doing their job, then you qualify for the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Remember, they are not the first option. They will politely refuse you if you have not already spoken to someone else at the IRS.

I have found them to be very helpful, because as a taxpayer you have rights that the IRS has to respect. Now that doesn’t mean every agent either, a) know those rights, or b) will care to give you those rights. Though most will, there are just some who don’t know, so that’s why the Taxpayer Advocate Service exists.

If you qualify for IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service help, you will be assigned a specific advocate who will work with you all the way through to the end. Understand that the end may not be the result you hoped for, but they will take you through the process and make sure all your rights have been protected. If you do owe money, they will make sure that the money you owe is exactly the amount of money that should be due, and any interest or penalties are exactly the ones that are prescribed by law. If the IRS is wrong, the advocate will get to the bottom of that as well.

There is a Taxpayer Advocate Service office in every single state of the United States. You can look up your state office in publication 1546 which is named, “Taxpayer Advocate Service, Your Voice with the IRS.” As always this and any publication can be found at

If you have a tax problem, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. Contact the IRS. If they do not help you properly, then contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service.They will do their best to make sure you get the problem resolved in a fair and equitable manner.

If you have any further questions about the Taxpayer Advocate Service, please give us a call at 914-682-7007. We would be more than happy to talk with you.

Stephen J. Ganns

Stephen J. Ganns, CPA


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