Taxpayer Advocacy Feed

Helping hand photo by Lalesh Aldarwish via Pexels.com I'm a big fan of the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Part of that, as long-time readers know, is because I was fortunate enough to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a volunteer group created to help the Internal Revenue Service meet and improve on the promise of the final word in the agency's name. My years with TAP let me see how TAS and the IRS work to help solve taxpayer problems. And yes, the people committed to this process really do care and do all they can to help taxpayers within... Read more →


A fourth, and final, Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday opening is set for May 18. Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash The third round of special Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday openings is this weekend, April 13. But don't let the date confuse you. Just because Internal Revenue Service reps will be available to help taxpayers who live near the TACs open across the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico on April 13 doesn't mean the tax agency staff will help filers complete 2023 tax returns (or extension requests) due on Monday, April 15. They won't. These... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service has held two special walk-in Saturdays this year at its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) across the United States. Two more are scheduled for April and May. The no-appointment-needed sessions are welcomed by taxpayers who need help (note, however, that the TAC reps aren't offering tax return filing assistance), as long as you can find them. A recent report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that's not always easy, especially if you search online for a TAC office. Issue reported by the IRS: To the IRS' credit, the agency brought this concern to... Read more →


Two more IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday openings are scheduled for April 13 and May 18. Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service's second special Saturday openings this year of Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) will be this Saturday, March 16. As with the February event, and the two openings in April and May, there's no need for taxpayers to make appointments. They can just walk into the TACs, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, for help. The following 70 TACs in 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico... Read more →


Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) members adorn the cover of the federal tax advisory committee's 2022 report. Do you constantly look at things and think, I know how to make that better? Then the Internal Revenue Service wants you. Specifically, the IRS' Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) wants you. This all-volunteer group with members from across the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico is committed to improving the IRS and the U.S. tax system. An additional member represents the interests of taxpayers working, living, or doing business abroad. "TAP volunteers consistently work to identify issues, and most importantly, come up with... Read more →


Other IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday openings will be on March 16, April 13, and May 18. Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash For the third consecutive year, the Internal Revenue Service is opening some of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) on Saturdays. Face-to-face help at these IRS offices usually is available only on weekdays, and taxpayers must make appointments. But on Feb. 24, March 16, April 13, and May 18 certain TACs nationwide will be open. Even better, on those four Saturdays taxpayers won't need to call ahead. They can just walk into the TACs, which will be... Read more →


The 2024 tax filing season has started. Sorta. Eight tax software companies now are available to eligible Free File taxpayers. Some business returns can be e-filed starting Tuesday, Jan. 16. On Monday, Jan. 29, the Internal Revenue Service officially begins processing all 2023 tax returns. While this filing season is expected to be relatively smooth, some taxpayers typically encounter problems. And every year, the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) details the most annoying tax complications that we, and the IRS, face. 10 most serious taxpayers problems: Those concerns are included in NTA Erin M. Collins' 2023 Annual Report to Congress, released... Read more →


Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images College football fans are in heaven. The 2023 NCAA bowl season is underway. The first of the 42 games kicked off this morning in with Georgia Southern meeting Ohio in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. The event's sponsoring name notwithstanding, the event is actually more inland, at Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina. There are six more games today, all as appetizers to the main menu meal, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. The one downside this year is the number of notable players —... Read more →


Hunter Biden hugging his father Joe and stepmother Jill after the elder Biden was sworn in as President of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021. (Photo by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff via Wikimedia Commons) One of the 10 guarantees in the Internal Revenue Service's Taxpayer Bill of Rights is the right to privacy. Hunter Biden says the tax agency failed to follow its rule, and has filed a federal lawsuit against the IRS alleging that it illegally disclosed information about his taxes. The core of Biden's legal action is the public testimony of two IRS agents.... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images The Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Bill of Rights includes the right to challenge the tax agency's position and be heard when it comes to what it says you owe. But that's not always as easy as the official IRS stance might make it seem. True, the IRS has several alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, programs in place. These programs use an IRS mediator to resolve taxpayer-IRS differences, and may be faster and less costly than the often-lengthy traditional tax appeals process. GAO issues with IRS ADR options: However, a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)... Read more →


Many businesses that stayed open during the height of the coronavirus pandemic were able to do so thanks to the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). Some companies, however, subsequently filed for the 2020-2021 tax benefit at the urging of unscrupulous ERC promoters, and now are finding the IRS is looking into their claims. The Internal Revenue Service earlier this summer warned businesses about Employee Retention Credit (ERC) promotions that could land the companies in tax trouble. The ERC was created in 2020 as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help businesses and their... Read more →


Photo by Christa Dodoo on Unsplash The National Taxpayer Advocate has some good news for taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service. But it's not great news. "The taxpayer experience vastly improved during the 2023 filing season," wrote National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins in her mid-year report to Congress issued today. The main reason for the improvement, she noted, was that the IRS caught up in its processing of paper 1040 forms. The tax agency also did a better job this year in dealing with various business returns, generally issued refunds quickly, and upgraded its phone assistance lines so that... Read more →


Photo by Tim Mossholder Once this year's April tax filing deadline passed, most Americans were done with their annual Internal Revenue Service interaction. Some taxpayers, however, are still dealing with other, non-filing federal tax issues. They might be able to get some in-person help resolving those tax matters from IRS staff at one the agency's Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) across the country. Such help usually requires taxpayers to make a weekday appointment. But on May 13, the IRS' final walk-in Saturday of 2023 will mean that filers whose local TAC is open can come in, no appointment needed, for some... Read more →


Photo by Porapak Apichodilok The Internal Revenue Service on Saturday held its third of four walk-in days at its Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country. The final one will be on May 13. These special no-appointment-needed weekend events are great for taxpayers living in the United States and Puerto Rico. But what if you're a U.S. taxpayer abroad? IRS service for international taxpayers that formerly was offered at foreign posts of duty is no longer available. Now if you're a U.S. taxpayer abroad with specific individual or business account questions, you must contact the International Taxpayer Service Call Center by... Read more →


The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service today released an extensive plan on how the tax agency will spend the nearly $80 billion in added funds it received in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRAct). New IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, in the introduction to the 150-page Strategic Operating Plan, said the plan is structured to achieve the following five objectives — Dramatically improve services to help taxpayers meet their obligations and receive the tax incentives for which they are eligible. Quickly resolve taxpayer issues when they arise. Focus expanded enforcement on taxpayers with complex tax filings and high-dollar noncompliance to address... Read more →


Photo by Amina Filkins Lots of folks have taxes on their minds as Tax Day 2023 nears. It's April 18, in case you forgot. But some people aren't necessarily focusing on their 2022 returns. They're dealing with other worrisome tax matters. They might be able to get some help this Saturday. That day, the Internal Revenue Service is offering assistance to folks who have unresolved non-filing tax issues. Fifty IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) will be open on April 8 in 29 states and 2 U.S. territories. These facilities usually are open only on weekdays, and taxpayers must make appointments... Read more →


Photo by Tim Mossholder If you need some help with a tax that's NOT filing your annual return, Internal Revenue Service staff might be able to provide some in-person help this weekend. The second round of the agency's Saturday walk-in hours at certain Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) nationwide will take place on March 11. IRS TACs normally are open on weekdays only, and taxpayers must make appointments to receive services. TAC help options: But during these special Saturday hours, walk-ins are welcome to get the help that the centers usually provide, except for making cash tax payments. If you need... Read more →


Photo by RODNAE Productions Last year, as the country started emerging from COVID-19 closures, the Internal Revenue Service joined the resocialization. It opened some of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) across the country so individuals could get some face-to-face tax help, no appointments needed. That resumption of more-normal taxpayer interaction was such a success, the agency is doing it again this 2023 filing season. For one Saturday a month, beginning in February and continuing through May, TACs in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico will be open on four upcoming Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.... Read more →


The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, is one of the most beneficial tax breaks for lower- and moderate-income workers. It's also one of the most under-claimed. The reasons are many, starting with its complexity. You have to work to be able to claim the EITC. But if you make too much money, you're ineligible. Your marital status comes in the calculation of the final credit, as does the size of your family. And many single people ignore the EITC because they think it's only available to filers with dependent children. "This is an extremely important tax credit that helps... Read more →


Photo by Pixabay The Internal Revenue Service is slowly but slowly becoming more electronic. The pace should pick up once the agency starts spending some of the new money it got this year to upgrade its operating systems. It's also looking for volunteers to offer suggestions on how the IRS can be a better e-agency. Specifically, the IRS is looking for applicants for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC). Ongoing electronic efforts: The ETAAC was established by Congress as part of 1998's IRS Restructuring and Reform Act. Its primary goal is to help the IRS meet that law's targets... Read more →


Image by Ag Ku from Pixabay There's some good news for taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service as we near the new year and 2023 tax filing season. The IRS is making progress in working through its backlog of paper tax returns. In a Nov. 10 update on IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-Critical Functions Continue webpage, the agency reports that it is "opening mail within normal time frames," and has "processed all paper and electronic individual returns" that had no errors or didn't require further review "in the order received if they were received prior to April 2022." As of... Read more →