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Published: May 14, 2019   |   Last Updated: September 25, 2020

Through advocacy and perseverance, TAS helped relieve a taxpayer’s hardship

Every year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer’s tax issues. All personal details are removed to protect the taxpayer’s privacy.


One of the main reasons TAS exists is to help taxpayers with tax problems who are also suffering financial hardships. When taxpayers owe past due taxes, their refunds automatically offset to pay the amount that they owe. If taxpayers are suffering a hardship and need the refund to pay for necessary living expenses such as rent, utilities or medical expenses, TAS can work with the IRS and get part or all of the refund to help pay for the expenses – in certain situations.

The minute TAS can provide relief to a taxpayer in a hardship situation, it acts quickly like it did when helping this taxpayer get part of her refund that the IRS was about to apply to past due federal taxes. When the taxpayer contacted TAS, the case advocate worked closely with the taxpayer to obtain the necessary, required documentation to submit to the IRS, asking it to issue the taxpayer a refund up to the amount of the documented hardship. Once TAS received all the necessary paperwork, it negotiated with the IRS and obtained permission to issue the taxpayer’s refund which TAS quickly prepared and submitted for processing.

Although there were some setbacks along the way, TAS did everything it could to have the refund issued to the taxpayer as quickly as possible. The case advocate persisted and after much empathy, advocacy and perseverance, the IRS processed the refund and the taxpayer successfully received it at a time when she needed it most.

If you need information on a specific tax topic, visit the TAS Get Help resource. It offers a step-by step guide on what you can do to settle some IRS issues on your own, what your taxpayer rights are and other options available to help you get resolution. Most issues can be resolved directly by working with the IRS. However, if you have tried, but are still unable to resolve an IRS issue, learn more about whether TAS can help you: TAS eligibility.

When working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, each individual or business taxpayer is assigned to an advocate who listens to the problem and helps the taxpayer understand what needs to be done to resolve their tax issue. TAS advocates will do everything they can to help taxpayers and work with them every step of the way. Occasionally we feature stories of taxpayers and advocates who work together to resolve complex tax issues. Read more TAS success stories.