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Resolving IRS Disputes with the Problem Resolution Program

Just thinking about the IRS may make taxpayers nervous, let alone having to resolve a dispute with them. However, the IRS has a solution to make resolving tax disputes easier: it's called the Problem Resolution Program.

You are eligible to contact the Problem Resolution Program with your dispute if any of the following is true:

  • You have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to contact the IRS to resolve the problem
  • The agency did not respond to your call by the date it promised
  • The routine IRS channels of communication failed you for any reason
  • It is in your best interest, or that of the IRS, to use the program

According to the IRS, every taxpayer with a dispute can expect polite handling of the dispute, follow-up within seven days of the initial call, an estimate of how long it will take to settle the case, and a quick resolution.

If you call the Problem Resolution Program, be prepared to provide the following information to the taxpayer advocate:

  • Your Social Security or employer identification number
  • The tax year(s) and type(s) of return involved
  • A detailed description of the dispute
  • Information on your previous attempts to resolve the problem

Your taxpayer advocate will identify himself or herself by name and IRS number. Be sure to take down this number in case you need to call again or follow up later.

You can get more information on the Problem Resolution Program from the IRS website. Alternatively, to request information by phone, call 1-800-829-3676, select option 2 from the touch-tone menu, and ask for a free copy of Publication No. 1546, How to Use the Problem Resolution Program of the IRS.

To find the Problem Resolution Program office nearest you, call 1-800-829-1040, skip over the touch-tone menu, and ask the operator for Problem Resolution Program assistance; you will be given the address and phone number of the nearest IRS office with a taxpayer advocate.