I consider myself to be a taxpayer advocate and risk manager when it comes to state and local taxes. My job is to advocate taxpayer's positions whether it be in a response to a notice, audit defense or appeals representation. However, what do you do when a state's normal day-to-day procedures don't seem to be working?
What Would You Do?
For example, when a state says it is backlogged with incoming mail, protests, responses to notices or amended returns, and won't be able to process anything for some time, what do you do?
What if that amended return was your response to a notice you received which would erase the liability assessed on the notice; however, when you call the state to find out the status, the state says the amended return won't be processed for 9 to 12 months; and therefore, you will still continue to receive notices?
If you don't pay the amount on the notice, eventually your account will be put into collections? Do you pay the notice? Or do you wait for the amended return to be processed and hope your account doesn't get put into collections?
The scenario I just described sounds like a good time to contact the state's taxpayer advocate office. My question is, will the taxpayer advocate office do anything about it?
During these tough economic times, with state governments hurting for revenue, it may not be "what will they do," but "what can they do."
I'm concerned that taxpayers are going to find it even more difficult to navigate through the bureaucracy of government, to a solution to their tax issues and problems.
Just a thought. What do you think?