Dealing with the IRS is made more frustrating by the complete lack of help you will receive from the IRS employees. The publications they print are hard-to-follow and offer no guidance. Any letter you receive from them is packed with methods to pay but little advice on how to fight.
The reason for this is because the IRS (like any gov't) can't offer legal advice. If they did, they would be forever embroiled with claims of improper advice. Plus, the employees at the IRS have limited authority and if you don't ask them to perform specific tasks for you, on the proper forms, they have no legal authority to act.
So, the only way to win your case against the IRS is to know the law thoroughly, know what you want specifically, know which forms to put your request upon and exactly what language to use. Otherwise, your case gets thrown around various IRS offices and "appeals" and nothing gets done. You may call them repeatedly and be assured they are "working your case", only to find out in 6 months that nothing has happened.
It takes diligence to pursue the IRS. You must follow up with them and make sure they are doing what you request. You have to appease them and make sure you are current with filings and payments.
But, above all, don't look to the IRS for advice or help. They aren't allowed to adequately give advice and it will be deficient. Use the IRS to gather information, then create and pursue the best case possible!
J. David Hopkins, JD, LLM