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By Michael S. Anderson of Anderson Tax Law logo for Arizona tax attorney Michael S. Anderson P.C.
  • IRS Freedom of Information Act Requests – What and Why

    Freedom of Information Act Requests

    If you are facing a tax audit or have serious tax debt, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can be a useful tool . The act requires the release of at least a portion of the information controlled by the U.S. government, some of which may not have been previously available to you.

    In a tax situation, a taxpayer may be able to learn how and when the IRS problem began, the amount of the tax, and the penalties being assessed and any interest and payments made. Additionally, notes, opinions and calculations made by IRS agents and officers may be obtained. This can be crucial information in a tax case and an FOIA request is possibly the only way much of this information can be located.

    FOIA requests must be in writing and include your name, address and a copy of your driver’s license. The request must be for specific records and must include a statement that the request is being made under the FOIA. You must also state that you will pay any fees associated with retrieving documents.

    Documents obtained under a correctly done FOIA request can take 30 days or longer to arrive. Therefore, it is important to properly prepare the request and send it in quickly if it is considered that the information will be necessary to the defense of the tax collection matter.

    Again, if you are facing an audit or have serious tax debt, a FOIA can be a useful tool.

    You are welcome to call and discuss your situation in order to determine whether such a request should be made.