Taxpayer Advocate Order Refund
Taxpayer has an hardship. Hardship is not an issue, the advocate agree. The taxpayer has a refund due but could be offset by a past due balance. I filed a Form 911 and the advocate contacted me. The advocate said because the return has already been processed they cannot do anything to get the refund. They can only get the refund if they act before the return was processed. This refund is currently sitting there unapplied because of a ID theft issue. The IRS employee at one of the National tax forum said that the taxpayer can get the refund because it has not yet been applied to any past due debt. I dont know who is correct. Can you tell me who is. Where can I find the answer. I looked in a few places with no luck.
I recently used the advocacy process and had a great experience. In my case, the return had not been processed due to a freeze that was triggered by business income. The role of the advocate is to move your case to the front of the line, not necessarily to resolve it. So using my case as an example, the advocate contacted the appropriate party, requested the freeze be reviewed immediately, which it was. In my case, there was no real issue so the return was processed and refund released. You might consider using the advocacy service to deal with the tax year in which the past due balance is at issue. The advocate may be able to force this case to the front of the line, and if it gets resolved, the service will obviously refund the money for 2010. That's the best advice I can give you. Kevinh5 and a few others on here have a lot of experience with the internal operations at the service so you should probably get some good advice tomorrow when everyone is back online.
My experience with the advocate has been positive. Except that in this case I cant believe what she said is correct because the refund is just sitting there and has not been use, yet, to offset past due balance. I have no way of checking the validity of what she said. We are not disputing that the past due balance is valid. Only that the there is a hardship, and the advocate agree that there is one.
To check the validity of what each party said, I would start by reading the IRC sections that establish and govern the TPA process and any regs or RPs that may be linked to those sections. I think the advocate may be correct here. Based on my one experience using the advocacy service and conversations with the advocate, the whole point is to get a taxpayer's return processed when a freeze has been instituted on a return that shows a refund being due. The hardship itself is what justifies moving a taxpayer's return to the front of the line to get processed.