2016 TAP News

Next Public Forum on taxpayer service needs and
preferences to be held in San Antonio, TX on August 30

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson and Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on Human Resources, will hold a public forum in San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday, August 30, to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations.

The public forum will feature an invited panel of representatives from the local area and will take place at the Maestro Entrepreneur Center in San Antonio, Texas. The IRS welcomes taxpayers, business owners, return preparers, media and all members of the community to participate.

Local Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) staff will be available to talk with attendees about unresolved tax issues and help determine if their situation qualifies for TAS assistance. TAS generally is unable to assist taxpayers with return preparation questions, but can provide assistance to taxpayers who have already filed their returns with the IRS for the current or past years and are experiencing problems that meet its case-acceptance criteria.

For information about the forum, go to TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov/public-forums.

 

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson Releases Volume II
of FY 17 Objectives Report to Congress

National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Nina E. Olson today released Volume II of her statutorily mandated mid-year FY 2017 Objectives Report to Congress, which contains the IRS’s responses to each of the 116 administrative recommendations the Advocate made in her 2015 Annual Report to Congress.

The National Taxpayer Advocate is required by statute to submit a year-end report to Congress that, among other things, describes at least 20 of the most serious problems facing taxpayers and makes administrative recommendations to mitigate those problems. Overall, the Advocate made 116 administrative recommendations in the “most serious problems” section of her 2015 year-end report. The IRS has implemented or agreed to implement 65 of the Advocate’s recommendations, or 56 percent.

The volume released contains IRS general responses to each of the problems the Advocate identified as well as specific responses to each recommendation. In addition, it contains TAS’s analysis of the IRS’s responses and, in some cases, details TAS’s disagreement with the IRS’s position.

For more information, visit the Volume II page.

Additionally, in November 2015, the National Taxpayer Advocate convened and hosted a first-of-its-kind international conference on taxpayer rights. The conference brought together presentations from government officials, scholars, and practitioners from around the world to explore how taxpayer rights serve as a foundation for effective tax administration.

The papers presented at the conference are posted on the International Conference on Taxpayer Rights website.

 

Next Public Forum on taxpayer service needs and preferences
to be held in Los Angeles, CA on August 22

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson and Rep. Xavier Becerra, a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on Social Security, will hold a public forum in Los Angeles on Monday, August 22, to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations.

The public forum will feature invited speakers who represent Los Angeles communities and will take place at Boyle Heights City Hall, Los Angeles. The IRS welcomes taxpayers, business owners, return preparers, media and all members of the community to participate.

Local Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) staff will be available to talk with attendees about unresolved tax issues and help determine if their situation qualifies for TAS assistance. TAS generally is unable to assist taxpayers with return preparation questions, but can provide assistance to taxpayers who have already filed their returns with the IRS for the current or past years and are experiencing problems that meet its case-acceptance criteria.

For information about the forum, go to TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov/public- forums.

 

Next Public Forum on taxpayer service needs and preferences
to be held in Portland, OR on August 18

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson will hold a public forum in Portland, Ore., on Thursday, August 18, to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations. The public forum will be held in Portland at the invitation of Sen. Ron Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance.

The public forum will feature an invited panel of representatives from the small business and local taxpayer communities and will take place at the Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Ave, Portland, OR, at 5:30 p.m. The IRS welcomes taxpayers, business owners, return preparers, media and all members of the community to participate.

Local Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) staff will be available to talk with attendees about unresolved tax issues and help determine if their situation qualifies for TAS assistance. TAS generally is unable to assist taxpayers with return preparation questions, but can provide assistance to taxpayers who have already filed their returns with the IRS for the current or past years and are experiencing problems that meet its case-acceptance criteria.

For information about the forum, go to TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov/public- forums.

 

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson to Hold Public Forum
in Parma, OH on August 16

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, will hold a public forum on Tuesday, August 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Parma, Ohio, to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations. The IRS welcomes taxpayers, business owners, return preparers, media and all members of the community to participate.
 
The public forum will be held at the Parma Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Parma, Ohio, and will feature an invited panel of representatives from the small business and local taxpayer communities.
 
Local Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) staff will be available to talk with attendees about unresolved tax issues and help determine if their situation qualifies for TAS assistance. TAS generally is unable to assist taxpayers with return preparation questions, but can provide assistance to taxpayers who have already filed their returns with the IRS for the current or past years and are experiencing problems that meet its case-acceptance criteria.
 
For information about the forum, go to TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov/public- forums.
 
JUL 7

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson Releases Objectives
Report to Congress

National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Nina E. Olson today released her statutorily mandated mid-year FY 2017 Objectives Report to Congress. It contains extended excerpts from her ongoing Public Forums on Taxpayer Needs and Preferences, presents a review of the 2016 filing season, and identifies the priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will address during the upcoming fiscal year.
 
The report says the IRS delivered a generally successful filing season in 2016. During the 2015 filing season, IRS telephone service reached a low; the IRS answered only 37 percent of taxpayer calls routed to customer service representatives overall, and the wait time for taxpayers who got through averaged 23 minutes. During the 2016 filing season, the IRS answered 73 percent of its calls, and the wait time dropped to 11 minutes. Thus, the IRS nearly doubled the percentage of calls it answered and reduced wait times by more than half.
 
 

2016 TAP Chair Provides Remarks at the National Taxpayer
Advocate's Washington D.C. Public Forum

Gina Jones, Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) 2016 Chair spoke at the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Public Hearing in Washington D.C. Ms. Jones spoke of TAPs’ efforts to recommend creative solutions to address the needs of taxpayers impacted by the reduced services resulting from IRS budget constraints.
 
One example of taxpayer needs not being met, that Jones mentioned, is the long wait times to receive help on the Toll Free telephone lines. Reporting that, callers must wade through numerous automated menus and often are not being assisted because their issue is beyond the employee’s training or the department answering the call no longer addresses a particular topic. Ms. Jones also indicated taxpayers calls are often terminated before IRS staff answers.
 
To read more about TAPs’ work and suggestions made to the IRS, see Ms. Jones entire statement here.
 

The National Taxpayer Advocate wants to hear from you!

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson will hold a public forum to discuss taxpayer needs and wants in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, May 17. This is an opportunity for you to speak and voice your needs and preferences in fulfilling your tax obligations with the IRS.
 
You are invited to join the public forum on Tuesday, May 17, at 10 a.m. at the IRS Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C. The May 17 public forum is the seventh event in the series held in a local community, and will feature a three-part panel discussion on the digital behavior of Americans, including trends for future usage, and will conclude with an opportunity for public comment.
 
The public forum will take place in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20224. Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter at the Constitution Avenue entrance.
 
In addition, all visitors must present photo identification to enter the building. Because of access restrictions, the IRS will not admit visitors beyond the immediate entrance area more than 30 minutes before the public forum begins. For information about having your name placed on the building access list to attend the public forum, contact Deborah Powell at (202) 317-6100.
 
 
Have questions about National Taxpayer Advocate Public Forums: visit the Taxpayer Advocate Public Forums page or to learn more about the Taxpayer Advocate organization, access our Tax Toolkit at Taxpayer Advocate Service – www.TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov.
 

The National Taxpayer Advocate wants to hear from you!

The National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson and Senator Ben Cardin are holding a public forum in Baltimore, MD Friday, May 13. This is an opportunity for you to speak and voice your needs and preferences in fulfilling your tax obligations with the IRS. They want to hear from taxpayers, business owners, return preparers and all members of the community.
 
The May 13 public forum, the sixth in a series to be held in a local community, will feature an invited panel of representatives from the small business and local taxpayer communities.
 
Local Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) staff will be available to talk with attendees about unresolved tax issues and help determine if their situation qualifies for TAS assistance. TAS generally is unable to assist taxpayers with return preparation questions, but can provide assistance to taxpayers who have already filed their returns with the IRS for the current or past years and are experiencing problems that meet its case-acceptance criteria.
 
The public forum will take place on Friday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland, 500 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201. Mark your calendar to attend this important public service event.
 
 
Have questions about National Taxpayer Advocate Public Forums: visit the Taxpayer Advocate Public Forums page or to learn more about the Taxpayer Advocate organization, access our Tax Toolkit at Taxpayer Advocate Service – www.TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov.
 

The National Taxpayer Advocate wants to hear from you!

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson and Sen. Chuck Grassley, a member and former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will hold a public forum to discuss taxpayer needs and wants in Red Oak, Iowa on Thursday, May 5. This is an opportunity for you to speak and voice your needs and preferences in fulfilling your tax obligations with the IRS.

You are invited to join the public forum on Thursday, May 5, at 8:30 a.m. in Red Oak, Iowa. The May 5 public forum, the fifth in a series to be held in a local community, will feature an invited panel of representatives from the small business and local taxpayer communities.

Local Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) staff will be available to talk with attendees about unresolved tax issues and help determine if their situation qualifies for TAS assistance. TAS generally is unable to assist taxpayers with return preparation questions, but can provide assistance to taxpayers who have already filed their returns with the IRS for the current or past years and are experiencing problems that meet its case- acceptance criteria.

The public forum will take place at the YMCA in Red Oak, IA, 101 E Cherry St, Red Oak, IA 51566. Mark your calendar to attend this important public service event.

Register here!

Have questions about National Taxpayer Advocate Public Forums: visit the Taxpayer Advocate Public Forums page or use this mailbox address for questions specifically relating to the Iowa event Contact National Taxpayer Advocate Service.

IRS Seeks Volunteers for Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

Beginning April 11, 2016, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) is inviting civic-minded individuals to apply to become members of a dynamic volunteer organization whose mission is to improve IRS services. To qualify as a TAP member, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, able to commit 200-300 volunteer hours per year to the panel, be current with their tax obligations and pass an FBI criminal background check. Applicants who practice before the IRS must be in good standing with the IRS. Federally- registered lobbyists cannot be members of the TAP.

TAP is currently seeking members in the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia.

TAP also needs alternate members for Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

To apply, complete the TAP online application at the USAJOBS website by May 16, 2016. To learn more, visit the Join TAP page or call (888) 912-1227 and select prompt number five. Callers outside of the U.S. and U.S. territories should call (214) 413-6523 (not a toll-free call). The TAP staff may also be reached via email at taxpayeradvocacypanel@irs.gov for assistance.

ALERT: Tax Refund Scam Artists Posing as Taxpayer Advocacy
Panel

The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) has been alerted that taxpayers are receiving emails allegedly from TAP about their tax refunds. These emails are a scam; do not click the links in them. TAP never requests or has access to personal or financial information of taxpayers. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar information for credit cards, banks or other financial institutions. These emails are believed to be part of a phishing scam, where unsolicited emails pose as legitimate organizations to lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal financial information.

If you receive an email that appears to be from TAP regarding your personal tax information, do not respond. Instead, please forward them to phishing@irs.gov and note that you believe you received an illegitimate email phishing for your personal information.

2016 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Members Selected

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommended and the Department of Treasury approved the selection of 32 new members to serve on the nationwide Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP). The TAP is a federal advisory committee charged with providing taxpayer suggestions to improve IRS customer service.

The new TAP members will join 41 returning members to round out the panel of 73 volunteers for 2016. The new members were selected from more than 1,000 interested individuals who applied during an open recruitment period last spring and the pool of alternate members who applied in prior years.

“To meet the needs of the taxpaying public, it is critical that the IRS listen to taxpayers to hear what their needs and preferences are,” said Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate. “The citizen volunteers who serve on the TAP are, first and foremost, taxpayers who bring a taxpayer perspective to bear in advising on the IRS’s taxpayer service activities.”

The TAP listens to taxpayers, identifies issues, and makes suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction. Oversight and program support for the TAP are provided by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS that helps resolve taxpayer problems and makes administrative and legislative recommendations to mitigate systemic problems.

To learn more about the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and to view a complete list of members, please visit the TAP Members page.

National Taxpayer Advocate Releases 2015 Annual Report to Congress

The IRS’s “Future State” plans for tax services tops the list of concerns in the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2015 Annual Report to Congress, released Jan. 6, 2016. The report outlines and provides recommendations on major tax issues affecting Americans, including reductions in IRS service levels and their impact on taxpayer rights. For more information and access to the full report, please visit the 2015 Annual Report to Congress.


 

Other TAP News

2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 20182019 | 2020