The IRS offers taxpayers a way to solve their tax problems because of a provable hardship without having to go through a more formal and lengthy appeal or offer in compromise. A Taxpayer Assistance Order was designed to aid taxpayers that have suffered a hardship that is directly related to the way the tax law relates to them.
No matter the specifics of your IRS problem, the Taxpayer Assistance Order covers them all. This specific program allows an IRS employee to have full control over your case. They can release a lien, stops a levy, free wage garnishments and much more. If you believe you have suffered an economic hardship because of a tax liability, you can apply for this program by letter or phone.
Qualifications For Tax Hardship
To be eligible for this program you need to have suffered a serious hardship that is directly related to the tax law that applies to you. If your hardship is only mildly severe you probably don’t qualify. This is important because the IRS is very picky when determining how much distress you are in.
Some of the qualifications for this program include:
1. There is immediate threat to your wellbeing.
2. You will suffer from long term injury or long term distress if your tax problem is not relieved.
3. Your tax issue has been delayed from being resolved for 30 or more days.
4.You will be required to pay large fees for professional help if the IRS does not grant you relief.
Other factors the IRS will consider are whether you will lose your job, suffer a loss of basic essentials needed to live, accrue negative marks against your credit score, or suffer serious distress caused to your physical or emotional wellbeing.
Examples of theoretical situations that would qualify the taxpayer for a Taxpayer Assistance Order include:
1. In a situation where your property has a federal tax lien against it and you have successfully negotiated with the bank to refinance the property to a lower payment you can afford, the IRS will subordinate the federal tax lien.
2. If the IRS is claiming your business owes employment taxes that you claim were not applied correctly for more than a year, then it may require the use of an expensive accountant to fix the misunderstanding. This cost may cause significant hardship and would require the IRS to provide relief.
3. According to the IRS regulations, the IRS must respond to your case when they say they are going to. If you have something pending that the IRS promised to follow up on subject to a certain date, this date must be respected. If they do not respond to you on the date they said they would and a hardship results, you are eligible for the Taxpayers Assistance Order.
4. If you are subject to a levy that takes money out of your bank account and is needed immediately for a medical procedure sometime in the near future. This can be extended to other expenditures that are of high priority in the near future.
What Can This Program Do For Me?
If you qualify for this program the IRS is granted power to do anything necessary under the law that will allow you to receive tax relief immediately.
Examples of actions that could be taken include:
1. Require the examination division of the IRS to reconsider your case.
2. Force the IRS to act in regard to a tax return, notice, request or any other document that was given to the taxpayer.
3. Release property that has been levied, including wage garnishments.
4. Require the IRS to consider transferring your case to another office.
5. Force the IRS to review your financial information that would favor an installment agreement or other types of relief.
The last thing to keep in mind before applying with the IRS to receive relief through the Taxpayer Assistance Program is that if you are subject to an ongoing criminal investigation you do not qualify.