The Taxpayer Advocate Office (TAO) is a Division of the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) that assists customers in fixing problems that have not been settled through other DOR programs and is a final resource to resolve customer issues.
The Taxpayer Advocate Office is designed to address complex and special tax problems that could not be resolved through the normal collection process.
When should you contact TAO?
AFTER you have:
- Contacted DOR Customer Service and/or Payment Services Division
- Have been unable to resolve your tax situation, then you are eligible to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Office.
Issues resolved by TAO:
- Complaints and unresolved or complex tax issues
- Warrant Expungement Requests
- Servicemembers in Active Duty Status with tax debts
To request assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Office with an unresolved or complex tax issue that hasn't been resolved by DOR, please complete and submit Form TAO-PRP:
Indiana Department of Revenue
Taxpayer Advocate Office
Indianapolis, IN 46206-6155
This form is used for assistance in the following situations:
- You were unable to resolve a state tax issue through normal administrative channels within DOR prior to contacting the Taxpayer Advocate Office and you can document your attempts.
- A DOR response is not provided by the date promised or within 120 days.
- You believe instructions or information provided by DOR are incorrect.
- You note the existence of a recurrent issue or systematic processing
What happens if I cannot pay my taxes within the time given?
Customers can apply for the Hardship or Offer in Compromise Program if:
- The customers has financial or medical hardships that are unable to pay
within the normal time limits offered through the normal collection process
- The customer'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 customer. This could include establishing an Offer-in-Compromise or Claim for Hardship.
Special needs taken into consideration are:
- Loss due to disaster
- Severe medical conditions
- The loss of a family member
- Severe financial problems
Note: Once a collection agent has begun proceedings, the Taxpayer Advocate Office may not be able to provide assistance. Each case will be individually reviewed.
These are financial or medical situations that do not allow a customer to pay within the normal time limits offered.
Customers may qualify for the Hardship Program if:
The customer or an immediate family member has a critical or terminal illness or disability.
The customer has experienced a recent personal devastation resulting from a natural disaster or uncontrollable event.
The customer is facing a financial hardship due to recent unemployment or forced job change.
The customer’s livelihood is threatened by the outstanding tax debt.
What the Hardship Program cannot do for you:
- Cancel or discharge your outstanding liabilities with no payment or settle for a lesser amount
- Leave your liabilities on an indefinite hold
- Reinstate a revoked Registered Retail Merchant Certificate
What the Hardship Program can do for you:
- Establish a payment plan with your special needs in mind, allowing additional time for payment of the taxes due.
- Place a temporary hold on your account for a specified time period, with the intention of establishing a payment plan at the end of that time period
A completed FS-H form is required.
The Taxpayer Advocate Office will determine whether the case qualifies for the program and will determine the amount the taxpayer should pay that meets the taxpayer's special needs and is in the best interest of DOR.
To apply for the Offer-in-Compromise program, a customer or their representative will be required to submit one of the following items:
- The DOR Offer-in-Compromise application, form FS-OIC, with all required documentation.
- A copy of the Offer-in-Compromise application submitted to the IRS along with all required documentation.
- A copy of the approved Offer-in-Compromise with the IRS, a copy of the Offer in Compromise application to the IRS with all required documentation, proof of debt to the IRS at the time of the IRS application, and letter of approval from the IRS.
The Taxpayer Advocate Office will determine whether the amount offered is the largest possible amount, which realistically can be collected, and determine whether the offer is in the best interest of the State. The offer is normally paid in full within 60 days or less; however a payment plan will be considered if the customer has demonstrated the need. The payment plan length will be established by the Taxpayer Advocate Office.
DOR may grant a request to expunge a tax warrant for the following reasons:
- Issued in Error - if it is determined that the warrant was issued in error.
- Best Interest of the State - after reviewing the request and researching additional factors.
- DOR’s Discretion – after reviewing the request and researching additional factors, including filing compliance, date of issuance, and pending litigation.
You can find additional information on the Tax Warrant Expungement webpage. To request an expungement of tax warrants, the Expungement Request Form must be completed. Instructions and qualifications are described on page two of the form.
The Indiana Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) allows DOR to assist active duty military members with the penalty, interest and, if materially affected, the collection activity for outstanding tax debts. To qualify for this you must be:
- An active duty, full-time, service member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard
- Commissioned corps of the NOAA and the Public Health Service if in active duty service status
- National Guard if called to active service for more than 30 consecutive days for purposes of responding to a national emergency and supported by federal funds
- Indiana only: National Guard members that are ordered to active duty.
The Indiana SCRA provides different provisions to those servicemembers that are materially affected and those that are not materially affected. DOR will consider all relevant facts and circumstances in determining whether a servicemember's ability to pay is materially or not materially affected by their active duty status.
You must notify DOR of your active duty status. More information on this can be found on our Information for Military Servicemembers webpage. You can also contact the Taxpayer Advocate Office for assistance with your tax debt and to discuss the documentation that you are required to submit.
If you need any other assistance than what is stated above, see the numbers listed below.
Customer Service Division
Payment Services Division
Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD)