Taxpayer Advocate Office
The Indiana Taxpayer Advocate Office provides an avenue for the successful resolution of taxpayer problems that have not been resolved through normal channels. Hardships, Offers-in-Compromise and taxpayer complaints are also researched and resolved through the Taxpayer Advocate Office. The taxpayer advocate serves to facilitate resolution as a final resource for the taxpayer.
In April 1989, the Public Law 332 established the Indiana Taxpayer Advocate Office. The office serves to facilitate procedural and policy disputes, staff and service complaints and/or unsuccessful resolution attempts are researched and reviewed in this office. Recommendations for policy or procedural changes and implementations are then made to the appropriate revenue division.
The Taxpayer Advocate Office is designed to address complex and special tax problems that could not be resolved through the normal collection process. After you have contacted the Taxpayer Services and/or the Collections Division and have been unable to resolve your tax situation, then you are eligible to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Office. Problems include systematic processing problems resulting in recurring assessments or problems that affect numerous taxpayers. To request assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Office with an unresolved tax issue, please complete and submit Form TAO-PRP.
Assistance also is provided to taxpayers with financial hardships that are unable to pay within the time limits set through the normal collection process, or if a taxpayer’s livelihood is threatened. The taxpayer advocate is authorized to review these cases and make every attempt to collect the tax, while meeting the special needs of the taxpayer. This could include establishing an Offer-in-Compromise or Claim for Hardship. Special needs would include loss due to disaster, severe medical conditions, the loss of a family member or severe financial problems.
- If a legal action has been filed (i.e. levy of wages and/or bank account, collection suit, or appearance in court) the Taxpayer Advocate Office cannot stop this action. Once a collection agent has begun proceedings, the Taxpayer Advocate Office may not be able to provide assistance. Each case will be reviewed individually.
- If you qualify for an IRS compromise, you will be required to submit a copy of the IRS documentation along with your request for a state Offer-in-Compromise.
You will need to fill out a FS-OIC, follow the instructions and include the required documentation listed.
The Taxpayer Advocate Office will determine whether the amount offered is the largest possible amount, which realistically can be collected, and to ascertain whether the offer is in the best interest of the department. In addition, The Taxpayer Advocate Office will determine whether the case qualifies for the program.
Claim for Hardship
To qualify for a hardship case, the following criteria must be met:
- The taxpayer has terminal/critical medical illness within the immediate family, or the taxpayer faces financial ruin, (i.e., livelihood threatened), which resulted in the inability to pay the outstanding liabilities.
- The taxpayer proves that a state filed tax warrant or lien is creating a hardship on the taxpayer, spouse, family or dependents. In addition, the taxpayer proves that a lien on a vehicle title or a protest filed on an employment license hinders the ability to earn income or to pay the tax due.
A completed FS-H is required for this option also. Follow the instructions and include the required information. The Taxpayer Advocate Office will determine whether the case qualifies for the program. The Taxpayer Advocate Office will also determine the amount the taxpayer should pay that meets the taxpayer's special needs and is in the best interest of the department.
If you need any other assistance than what is stated above, see the numbers listed below.
Taxpayer Services Division