The Superhero of the Tax System: The TAS Issues Warnings and Gives Protection

For those of you with absolutely no hope in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service, there is an administration out there on your side. The Taxpayer Advocate Service or TAS is an independent agency that is an ally rather than a nemesis to taxpayers. For those taxpayers who are experiencing economic hardships, a tax injustice, or other related issue, you are entitled to the services of the Taxpayer Advocate Service in order to assist you with your tax needs.

In addition to assisting taxpayers, the Taxpayer Advocate Service helps to recognize systematic problems/errors within the Internal Revenue Service in order to propose sensible changes to alleviate the complications between the IRS and taxpayers.

One of the major concerns of the Taxpayer Advocate Service is that taxpayers are not aware of recently expired provisions or ones that will be expiring this coming year. Although there has been a great deal of discussion about the expiring Bush tax cuts, there are many others of which taxpayers may still not be informed of. Some examples are as follows:

Alternative minimum tax: this expired in 2011 – If it isn’t renewed, around 27 million Americans will still have to pay this tax.

Deduction for state and local taxes – If your state requires state income tax, the deduction may not cause harm, as your state income tax is usually higher than the sales tax deduction you are allowed. But if you relied on this deduction, it expired at the end of 2011 and cannot be renewed.

Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums: This expired at the end of last year. Although about 4 million taxpayers claimed it and may in the future, it is no longer valid.

Deduction for charitable contributions from IRA accounts: This expired in 2011. For taxpayers over the age of 70 1/2, this meant that the distribution taken for the year was decreased by the amount paid as charitable contributions, resulting in a lower taxable income.

An IRS tax attorney can help you stay informed of what provisions are expiring and help you adjust your tax returns as needed. For immediate assistance in avoiding expired tax deductions, contact a knowledgeable tax attorney today.

One other issue within the report is that Taxpayer Assistance Orders (TAOs) and Taxpayer Advocate Directives (TADs) are being ignored. This is an issue that must be elevated to highest level of leadership within the IRS, as it violates the rights of taxpayers and inflicts excessive taxpayer burden.

In June 2011, a directive was issued by the Taxpayer Advocate Service requesting the implementation of procedures adjusting the accounts of those who had been victimized by fraudulent return papers. A final directive was issued in January 2012. Again, it was ignored.

Additionally, tax lawyers and other critics believe that the increasing use of automated examination and other tax adjustment procedures within the IRS limit opportunities for taxpayers to interact directly with the IRS employees, therefore, limiting the rights protections traditionally associated with audits. Since automated procedures are more likely to produce over-assessments, contact an IRS tax attorney you can trust in order to receive fair treatment from the IRS.

Finally, the TAS is also concerned about the amount of crackdown on taxpayers with offshore accounts. Punishments for honest mistakes are severe, although many of the taxpayers are not trying to evade any taxes. To avoid any punishments due to slight error, call an IRS tax lawyer today.

 

Segal, Cohen & Landis
9100 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 601E
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 285-3999

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