Most IRS employees at central campuses now have remote working capabilities (laptops, VPN access, etc.) and are able to assist taxpayers. However, the IRS is overwhelmed with taxpayer inquiries and questions, especially as it relates to stimulus payments.
Taxpayers with compliance issues can interact with the IRS, but may have to wait months to get an IRS acknowledgement of their response and resolution. The IRS is holding off on issuing many notices during this time.
Contact a Local Taxpayer Advocate (LTA) in Texas
||3651 S. Interregional Highway, Stop 1005 AUSC, Austin, TX 78741
||1114 Commerce St., Room 1001, MC1005DAL, Dallas, TX 75242
||700 E. San Antonio St, C101F, El Paso, TX 79901
||1919 Smith St., Stop 1005 HOU, Houston, TX 77002
IRS.gov can provide a phone/fax # for your local advocate
*Austin’s mailing address is: IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, P.O. Box 149223, Austin, TX 78767.
Common taxpayer questions
Taxpayer questions that can only be answered by the IRS have not stopped because of the pandemic. In fact, because of stimulus checks, the need for the IRS to answer taxpayer questions is greater than ever.
Here are some of the more common taxpayer questions during this time:
- Why is my refund being held up? (or, if the IRS is holding the refund pending information from the taxpayer, how does the taxpayer get the IRS to consider the information and release the refund?)
- I got an identity verification letter from the IRS. How do I speak to an IRS representative to verify my identity and release my refunds?
- Why can’t the “Get my payment” tool provide me with information about when and how much stimulus payment I will receive?
- I am trying to refinance my house and take advantage of favorable interest rates, but I need a payoff amount on my outstanding balance. How do I get an official payoff amount from the IRS?
- I am suffering financial hardship and also owe the IRS. How can I modify my payment plan or ask for payment deferral until my situation gets better?
- How can I get a copy of my IRS transcripts when I am not able to create an IRS online account and use the “Get Transcript” feature?
Many of the questions raised have urgent financial impacts for the taxpayer. Refund holds and stimulus payment issues rise to the top of the taxpayer concerns. The IRS provides frequent updates at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
Taxpayers with immediate needs have multiple options for contacting the IRS. A few are included below:
Hardship situations: If the taxpayer has a financial hardship, the taxpayer can contact their LOCAL Taxpayer Advocate’s office. Find the phone and fax number for your local advocate here: https://www.irs.gov/advocate/local-taxpayer-advocate. For example, if you live in Texas, you will pick the advocate’s office closest to your location:
When you call, you are likely to get a voicemail (not speak to a live person) that will allow you to leave your information to receive a call back from a caseworker. The message will give you their timeframes for returning a call.
One important tip in working with your local taxpayer advocate is this: sending a Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance, is the best way to get the IRS to address your issue. An informal phone request to the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) may not get you into their workstream, but a Form 911 allows your case to be formally assigned to a caseworker. Formal assignment means you get a call back and attention from the IRS. Taxpayers can get Form 911 online at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f911.pdf