DANNY MCLENDON OFFICE OF TAXPAYER ADVOCACY
orGanizational chart Director of Taxpayer Advocacy Mr. Joe Walls (334) 242-1066 Administrative Support III Mrs. Mary Perry (334) 242-1055 Administrative Support I Ms. Erika Hardmon (334) 242-1075 Senior Associate Advocate Lynn Spraggins, RCO III (334) 353-8878 Senior Associate Advocate Cherlyn Burney, RCO III (334) 353-9606 Senior Associate Advocate Danny McLendon, RCO III (334) 242-1089 Senior Associate Advocate Melissa Rouze, RE III (334) 242-9810
MISSION STATEMENT: TO PROVIDE AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR ALABAMA TAXPAYERS IN ORDER TO WORK WITHIN THE CORPORATE STRUCTURE OF THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE AND TO REINFORCE THE DEPARTMENT’S COMMITMENT TO PROVIDE FAIR AND EQUITABLE TREATMENT TO ALL TAXPAYERS.
OFFICE OF TAXPAYER ADVOCACY • ALABAMA TAXPAYERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS & UNIFORM REVENUE PROCEDURES ACT CODE OF ALABAMA – 1975 TITLE 40 – CHAPTER 2A-4 • OFFICE OF TAXPAYER ADVOCACY CODE OF ALABAMA – 1975 TITLE 40 – CHAPTER 2A-4 (b)
PURPOSE/GOALS • To provide assistance to any citizen who has experienced a long standing and/or recurrent problem with the Department of Revenue • To be a neutral voice for and liaison between the taxpayer and the department • To identify systemic or procedural difficulties or problems that exist within the department and various divisions • To suggest recommendations to the Commissioner for solutions to identifiable problems including administrative policy, legislative changes and/or enhancement of taxpayer education programs.
CRITERIA • An individual must have made three attempts to resolve the problem through normal channels • Instructions/Information provided or action taken by the department have been proven wrong or inadequate, resulting in confusion or hardship to the individual • A departmental response has not been provided by the date promised, within a specified length of time after initial contact (30 days), or within the statutorily required time • Noted existence of an ongoing or persistent problem with a particular procedure.
REASONS FOR REJECTION • Any problem that is currently under litigation, audit, or under special investigation • Any routine inquiry, request for information, or request for forms from the department • Insufficient time has passed to allow the department to respond • Attempt is being made to stall or avoid normal collection procedures and administrative action • Any problems or inquiries regarding personnel matter
HOW WE GET OUR BUSINESS • DEPARTMENT REFERRAL – When it is determined by a department employee that the criteria for referral has been met, the problem will be referred to the Office of Taxpayer Advocacy for resolution. Any inquires from the public that meet one or more of the criteria listed or, in judgment of the employee qualify for resolution, should be immediately referred to the Office of Taxpayer Advocacy. • TAXPAYER REQUEST – Taxpayers, meeting referral qualifications, may directly request assistance. • TAXPAYER REPRESENTATIVE – The taxpayer’s representative – accountant, CPA, etc. – may directly request assistance.
TAO RESPONSIBILITIES • INVESTIGATE TAXPAYER COMPLAINTS AND INQUIRIES • REVIEW THE VALIDITY OF FINAL ASSESSMENTS • REVIEW PETITIONS FOR REFUND CASES • REVIEW ABATING PENALTIES/INTEREST-DUE TO UNDUE DELAY OR REASONABLE CAUSE • INVESTIGATE ERRONEOUS LIEN FILINGS • INVESTIGATE UNTIMELY OR FAILURES TO RELEASE LIENS
TAO RESPONSIBILITIES (Con’t) • EXPEDITE THE RELEASE OF GARNISHMENTS • COMPUTE AND REFUND OVERPAYMENTS TO TAXPAYERS • PROVIDES ANNUAL REPORT TO THE ALABAMA LEGISLATURE
PENALTIES • REASONABLE CAUSE (1) DEATH, MAJOR ILLNESS, ABSENCE (2) NATURAL DISASTER (3) INABILITY TO OBTAIN RECORDS (4) NONRECURRING HONEST MISTAKE (5) RELIANCE ON A COMPETENT TAX ADVISOR (6) ERRONEOUS ADVICE BY ADOR PERSONNEL
TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE ORDERS • TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE ORDERS ARE LEGAL DOCUMENTS WRITTEN BY THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE, THATARE USE TO REVERSE DEPARTMENTAL DETERMINATIONS (FA’S) BASED ON CORRECTED INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, THE TAXPAYER, AND/ OR THE TAXPAYER’S REPRESENTATIVE. THEY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO IRS TRANSCRIPTS, SCHEDULE OF ADJUSTMENTS, ORIGINAL TAX RETURNS OR AMENDED TAX RETURNS PROVIDED BY THE TAXPAYER, ETC… • WHAT DO TAO’S ACTUALLY DO? (1) AJUST OR RESCIND IMPROPERY ENTERED FINAL ASSESSMENTS
CON’T (2) GRANT REFUNDS DUE (3) ABATES PELALTIES OR INTEREST IF APPLICABLE (4) ADDS OR REMOVES A THIRD PARTY (5) GRANTS RELIEF BASED ON DOMICILE OR TAXES PAID TO ANOTHER STATE (6) GRANTS RELIEF UNDER INNOCENT SPOUSE (IRC 6015 (b))