IRS News Release  
January 27, 1989

Omnibus Taxpayer Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON - Taxpayers who face significant hardships because of the manner in which the Internal Revenue Service is administering the tax laws may now apply to IRS for relief.

The Omnibus Taxpayer Bill of Rights provides that the Taxpayer Ombudsman and Problem Resolution Officers may issue Taxpayer Assistance Orders (TAOs) to suspend, delay or stop actions where a taxpayer may suffer significant hardship as the result of an IRS action or failure to act. The order will allow additional time to review the case and decide if the original action is proper.

For example, a levy served on a taxpayer's checking account after the taxpayer had entered into a formal installment agreement with IRS could result in a significant hardship. In general, IRS does not issue levies after taxpayers have entered into formal agreements. If the levy resulted in insufficient funds in the account to cover checks that had been written, the taxpayer's credit rating could be affected. In this case, the taxpayer could request that the levy be released. If the Problem resolution Officer agreed, the levy would be released.

Taxpayers who wish to apply for a TAO should call the IRS toll free and ask for problem resolution. Taxpayers apply for relief by completing Form 911, Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order to Relieve Hardship. Forms 911 are now available in Problem Resolution Offices.

The IRS cautioned that a taxpayer who has a problem should attempt to resolve it through normal channels first. If the problem persists and the taxpayer faces a significant hardship as a result, the taxpayer should apply for a TAO.

Hardship, as defined in the law, refers to the administration of the law and not the law itself. The Taxpayer Ombudsman and Problem Resolution Officers do not have authority to override the Internal Revenue Code. TAOs will not be issued when there is no evidence of a significant hardship and it appears that the taxpayer has applied for relief simply to delay actions of the IRS.

These procedures are similar to those IRS established in February, 1988, to help taxpayers facing hardships because of an impending action by the IRS.

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