Obtaining information from the IRS and state taxing authorities is often necessary to resolving IRS and state tax troubles. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides taxpayers with one avenue for obtaining specific records held by the IRS and state taxing authorities.
IRS and state FOIA requests are typically short written letters that are presented to the IRS and other state taxing authorities. If the letter complies with the FOIA rules, the IRS and state taxing authorities have a very short time for responding to the requesting taxpayer. The IRS and state tax authorities are entitled to charge fees for searching for records, duplicating records, and in some cases for reviewing records.
While the FOIA request may be a simple process, taxpayers should be aware that FOIA requests must list what records the taxpayer specifically wants and is entitled to obtain. Imprecise and poorly worded information requests will result in unnecessary delays, costs, and in some cases the FOIA request being returned to the taxpayer as unprocessable.
An experienced tax attorney can help you determine if a FOIA request is appropriate and help you craft a request that will produce the records that are most helpful to you.
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