1997 Tax Help Archives  

Hardship Assistance Applications

This is archived information that pertains only to the 1997 Tax Year. If you
are looking for information for the current tax year, go to the Tax Prep Help Area.

If you are suffering, or about to suffer a significant hardship because of the way Internal Revenue laws are being carried out, you may ask for special help from IRS's Problem Resolution Office. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights II gave the IRS's Taxpayer Advocate the authority to issue Taxpayer Assistance Orders. This authority allows the Advocate to suspend, delay, stop, or speed-up IRS actions when a person is suffering or about to suffer a significant hardship. The Advocate passed this authority along to the Problem Resolution Officers in IRS districts and service centers.

A significant hardship is something more than an inconvenience to you. IRS enforcement action, such as a levy on wages or a bank account, or the seizure of property, is NOT a significant hardship. Examples of significant hardship include the loss of housing, the shut-off of utilities, and being unable to obtain food, keep your job, or buy needed medication.

Hardship refers to the way the law is applied to you and not to the law itself. Problem Resolution Officers do not have the authority to overrule the tax laws.

You should first try to resolve tax problems with the IRS office that most recently contacted you. But, if an IRS action or inaction will cause you a significant hardship, you may apply for help in one of two ways. First, you may call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, and ask that a Form 911, Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order to Relieve Hardship, be prepared for you.

Secondly, you may complete Form 911 yourself and send it to the Problem Resolution Officer for the IRS district in which you live. You may get Form 911 from your local IRS office or by calling 1-800-829-3676. The Problem Resolution Officer will review your completed application and advise you of the action taken.

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