Getting the runaround from the IRS
I have been getting the runaround since June 2005 for a 1040X, for
tax year 2002. The case keeps going back and forth between Cincinnati
and Memphis. To whom do I need to talk or write to bring this to
a close? I need help.
I've been doing this for more than 20 years, so I know what you
mean when you say runaround. Problems with the Internal Revenue
Service tend to linger. It's a large centralized organization and
no one person you talk to can get their hands around all the information
they need to resolve a problem. It's not the IRS employee's fault;
it's the system and procedures.
Luckily, in the IRS restructuring act, Congress created the Taxpayer Advocate office for situations such as yours. The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an IRS program that provides an independent system to assure that tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels are promptly and fairly handled. This means that you should only use it when, as in your case, you are getting nowhere through normal channels.
Although the advocate office has been around a few
years, I am, for the first time, using that office for a client
who also has a bouncing 1040X. My initial contact was a couple of
months ago. It took about four to six weeks for an advocate to be
assigned. He asked me for duplicates of what was submitted, as he
could not get it through the IRS's regular channels: Be patient,
it's the system. He had to give the service center 30 days to respond
to his prompting: Be patient, it's procedure.
Well that's where I am so far, so write back and ask
me what happened later. But, after many years of experience, I feel
that if the advocate had not gotten involved, we wouldn't have made
even this much headway.
You can find out more information on the IRS's Web
site (search for "Taxpayer
Advocate Service"). The site will explain the system and
procedures to follow. But be assured the advocate service will certainly
be more responsive to the problem: That's its function.
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