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LAW Research
& Registry
    TITLE 26. INTERNAL REVENUE CODE 
SUBTITLE F. PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION 
CHAPTER 80. GENERAL RULES 
SUBCHAPTER A. APPLICATION OF INTERNAL REVENUE LAWS 

26 USCS §  7811

§  7811.  Taxpayer assistance orders.  

(a) Authority to issue.  
   (1) In general.  Upon application filed by a taxpayer with the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate (in such form, manner, and at such time as the Secretary shall by regulations prescribe), the National Taxpayer Advocate may issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order if--
      (A) the National Taxpayer Advocate determines the taxpayer is suffering or about to suffer a significant hardship as a result of the manner in which the internal revenue laws are being administered by the Secretary; or
      (B) the taxpayer meets such other requirements as are set forth in regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
   (2) Determination of hardship.  For purposes of paragraph (1), a significant hardship shall include--
      (A) an immediate threat of adverse action;
      (B) a delay of more than 30 days in resolving taxpayer account problems;
      (C) the incurring by the taxpayer of significant costs (including fees for professional representation) if relief is not granted; or
      (D) irreparable injury to, or a long-term adverse impact on, the taxpayer if relief is not granted.
   (3) Standard where administrative guidance not followed.  In cases where any Internal Revenue Service employee is not following applicable published administrative guidance (including the Internal Revenue Manual), the National Taxpayer Advocate shall construe the factors taken into account in determining whether to issue a taxpayer assistance order in the manner most favorable to the taxpayer.

(b) Terms of a Taxpayer Assistance Order.  The terms of a Taxpayer Assistance Order may require the Secretary within a specified time period--
   (1) to release property of the taxpayer levied upon, or
   (2) to cease any action, take any action as permitted by law, or refrain from taking any action, with respect to the taxpayer under--
      (A) chapter 64 (relating to collection),
      (B) subchapter B of chapter 70 (relating to bankruptcy and receiverships),
      (C) chapter 78 (relating to discovery of liability and enforcement of title), or
      (D) any other provision of law which is specifically described by the National Taxpayer Advocate in such order.

(c) Authority to modify or rescind.  Any Taxpayer Assistance Order issued by the National Taxpayer Advocate under this section may be modified or rescinded--
   (1) only by the National Taxpayer Advocate, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, or the Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and
   (2) only if a written explanation of the reasons for the modification or rescission is provided to the National Taxpayer Advocate.

(d) Suspension of running of period of limitation.  The running of any period of limitation with respect to any action described in subsection (b) shall be suspended for--
   (1) the period beginning on the date of the taxpayer's application under subsection (a) and ending on the date of the National Taxpayer Advocate's decision with respect to such application, and
   (2) any period specified by the National Taxpayer Advocate in a Taxpayer Assistance Order issued pursuant to such application.

(e) Independent action of National Taxpayer Advocate.  Nothing in this section shall prevent the National Taxpayer Advocate from taking any action in the absence of an application under subsection (a).

(f) National Taxpayer Advocate.  For purposes of this section, the term "National Taxpayer Advocate" includes any designee of the National Taxpayer Advocate.  

                    HISTORY; ANCILLARY LAWS AND DIRECTIVES 

Explanatory notes: 
   The bracketed words "Taxpayer Advocate's" have been inserted in subsec. (d)(1) to indicate the probable intent of Congress to substitute such words for "Ombudsman's".

Amendments: 
   In 1998, P.L. 105-206, Sec. 1102(c), (d)(1)(C)-(G), (2), (3) (effective on 7/22/98 pursuant to Sec. 1102(f) of P.L. 105-206, which appears as a note to Code Sec. 7803), substituted subsec. (a) for one which read: "(a) Authority to issue. Upon application filed by a taxpayer with the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate (in such form, manner, and at such time as the Secretary shall by regulations prescribe), the Taxpayer Advocate may issue a Taxpayer Assistance Order if, in the determination of the Taxpayer Advocate, the taxpayer is suffering or about to suffer a significant hardship as a result of the manner in which the internal revenue laws are being administered by the Secretary."; amended subsecs. (b)(2)(D), (c), (d)(2), (e), and (f) by substituting "National Taxpayer Advocate" for "Taxpayer Advocate" wherever appearing; and amended subsec. (d)(1) by substituting "National Taxpayer Advocate's" for "Taxpayer Advocate's".
   In 1996, P.L. 104-168, Sec. 101(b)(1) (effective 7/30/96, as provided by Sec. 101(c) of such Act, which appears as 26 USCS §  7802 note), in subsec. (a), substituted "the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate" for "the Office of Ombudsman" and substituted "Taxpayer Advocate" for "Ombudsman", wherever appearing; and, in subsecs. (b)(1)(D), (c), (d)(2), (e), and (f), substituted "Taxpayer Advocate" for "Ombudsman", wherever appearing.
   --P.L. 104-168, Sec. 102(a), (b) (effective 7/30/96, as provided by Sec. 102(c) of such Act, which appears as a note to this section), in subsec. (b), in the introductory matter, inserted "within a specified time period" and, in para. (2), inserted "take any action as permitted by law,"; and substituted subsec. (c) for one which read: "(c) Authority to modify or rescind. Any Taxpayer Assistance Order issued by the Taxpayer Advocate under this section may be modified or rescinded only by the Taxpayer Advocate, a district director, a service center director, a compliance center director, a regional director of appeals, or any superior of any such person.".
   In 1988, P.L. 100-647, Sec. 6230(a), added Code Sec. 7811, effective 1/1/89.

Other provisions: 
   Effective date of amendments made by §  102 of Act July 30, 1996. Act July 30, 1996, P.L. 104-168, Title I, §  102(c), 110 Stat. 1456, provides: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.".  

NOTES: 

  

                        INTERPRETIVE NOTES AND DECISIONS
   Although taxpayers are permitted to apply for relief when they suffer or are about to suffer significant hardship as result of IRS activities, taxpayer assistance order provision is not authority for suit for money damages to cover expenses such as legal, accounting, administrative and court costs, and business losses.  Tuccio v United States Comr. of IRS (1990, SD NY). 
 




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