In 1996, the law allowed for the creation of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate (in replacement of the former Office of the Taxpayer Ombudsman), whose functions are:
- To assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the Internal Revenue Service;
- To identify areas in which taxpayers have problems in dealings with the Internal Revenue Service;
- To the extent possible, propose changes in the administrative practices of the IRS to mitigate those identified problems; and
- To identify potential legislative changes which may be appropriate to mitigate such problems.
In 1997, the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service called the Taxpayer Advocate the “voice of the taxpayer.”
In 1998, Congress renamed the Taxpayer Advocate as the National Taxpayer Advocate, provided that the National Taxpayer Advocate could not be an officer or employee of the IRS for two years preceding or five years following his or her tenure, and provided for Local Taxpayer Advocates in each state of the Union.
When you find yourself getting nowhere in your dealings with the bureaucrats, try contacting your Taxpayer Advocate!