Q&A: Recourse when the IRS goofs

Dear Liz: Is there a “court of last resort” when dealing with the IRS and the Treasury Department? I tried to buy an I bond using my tax refund. My tax preparer checked the appropriate box on the 1040 and submitted the form 8888. No bond was sent to me and I have been sent back and forth between the Treasury and the IRS multiple times. Finally the IRS admitted it did not notify the Treasury like it should have to generate the bond and it did apologize.

The Treasury says it can’t issue the bond without the notification from the IRS, and the IRS claims there is nothing it can do to fix the problem now. Is there any recourse whereby I can get my bond? I followed all of the rules, the 1040 was correct and to tell you the truth, I am unhappy that there does not seem to be a way of righting a wrong not of my making.

Answer: Start by contacting the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which was created in part to help resolve problems like this. You’ll find it at taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov.

Also consider reaching out to your congressional representatives, who have constituent services that may be able to help.


  1. Marilyn davis says

    Liz, thank you for your answer (12/30/2022) to the question concerning my unissued I bond. In the interest of brevity, I omitted the fact in my first email that I had contacted the Taxpayer Advocate Service earlier in my efforts to solve the problem. They were instrumental in getting the IRS to validate the problem but the IRS still maintains that there is no way to issue my I bond. I will be following your advice to contact my congressional representative.