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ASK THE EDD LAWYER- WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE SERVICE?

By Robert S. Schriebman

I have been practicing tax law for several decades. I still have not seen it all. However, I have to remember how complex IRS and California tax law really is. I know from my experience that no one will ever be able to write a book or develop a web site that will cover every possible tax problem. Perhaps that is why California and the IRS created Taxpayer Advocate Services. I am a big fan of the Taxpayer Advocate. These remarkable people handle questions and problems that have no easy answers. And they do this very difficult job with the utmost professionalism. I have found this to be true especially with the EDD Taxpayer Advocate.

Finding the answers and solutions to difficult tax problems can be compared to walking through a maze. You go down one path only to come to a dead end. Sometimes the problem cannot be solved without the intervention of the Taxpayer Advocate.

The EDD, FTB, and BOE each have a Taxpayer Advocate service. Unfortunately, the public is unaware of the help provided by these agencies. It is not uncommon for us to refer a caller to a Taxpayer Advocate to solve his or her problem. The Advocate gets the job done and gets it done at no charge.

The EDD, FTB, and BOE Taxpayer Advocates are an integral part of the respective organization charts. They are not independent. The IRS Taxpayer Advocate was historically part of the IRS. This caused problems and conflicts. However, with the Tax Reform Act of 1998, the IRS Advocate became an independent agency of the Treasury Department. It was given a new name - Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).

Recently, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) published a "Tax Tip" that provides valuable insight into how TAS operates. The Tax Tip stresses the independence of TAS from the IRS. Here are some of the important points of the service TAS provides:

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS and is your voice at the IRS.
  2. We help taxpayers whose problems are causing financial difficulty. This includes businesses as well as individuals.
  3. You may be eligible for our help if you've tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and have gotten nowhere, or you believe an IRS procedure just isn't working as it should.
  4. As a taxpayer, you have rights that the IRS must respect. We'll help you understand those rights and ensure that they're protected in any contacts with the IRS.
  5. If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn. And our service is always free.
  6. We have at least one local taxpayer advocate office in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. You can call your advocate, whose number is in your local directory, in Publication 1546, Taxpayer Advocate Service -- Your Voice at the IRS, and on our website at www.irs.gov/advocate. You can also call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778.
  7. Our tax toolkit at www.TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov has basic tax information, details about tax credits (for individuals and businesses), and lots more.
  8. TAS also handles large-scale or systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broader issues, please report it to us at www.irs.gov/sams.
  9. You can get updates at:
  10. TAS is here to help you because when you're dealing with a tax problem, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all!

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An EDD lawyer, Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States.

As a trusted EDD attorney, Robert S. Schriebman has successfully dedicated more than 30 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures - A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House and the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure," both published by Commerce Clearing House.