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Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Members Selected

IR-2007-20, Jan. 30, 2007

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are pleased to announce the selection of 33 new members to serve on the nationwide Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a Federal Advisory committee charged with providing direct taxpayer input to the Internal Revenue Service.

The new panel members will join 64 returning members to round out the panel of 97 volunteers for 2007. The new members were selected from over 700 interested individuals from all over the country, who applied through an open recruitment period last spring.

TAP is a Federal Advisory committee charged with providing direct taxpayer input to the Internal Revenue Service. The volunteer members provide a taxpayer’s perspective on critical tax administration programs and help the IRS identify ways to improve customer service. Oversight and program support for the TAP is the responsibility of the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS that helps resolve taxpayer problems and recommends changes that will prevent problems.

The mission of the panel is to listen to taxpayers, identify issues and make suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction. Panel members will work with IRS executives on priority topics – primarily those involving the Wage and Investment Division and Small Business/Self-Employed Division. Members also serve as a conduit for grassroots issues from the public and forward taxpayers’ issues and concerns to the IRS with recommendations for improvement.

"The new panel members have an important job to help make sure the IRS provides the top quality service taxpayers want and deserve“, said Nina Olson, IRS National Taxpayer Advocate and head of the Taxpayer Advocate Service. “At a time when the IRS is engaged in the process of reviewing and reforming tax procedures and how services are provided to taxpayers, input from the citizen volunteers at TAP has never been more important. We actively seek the members’ views and encourage them to have input on IRS initiatives before decisions are made.”

TAP members are U.S. citizens who volunteer to serve a three-year appointment and are expected to devote 300 to 500 hours per year to panel activities. Panel members come from all walks of life with balanced representation from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Taxpayers can contact their state’s representative to the Panel by calling 1-888-912-1227 or via the internet at www.improveirs.org. Taxpayers can also write to the Panel and mail correspondence to:

Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP)
TA: TAP Room 1314
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20224

Individuals interested in volunteering to serve on the panel may submit an application via the web site www.improveirs.org during the next open recruiting period from March 19 to April 30, 2007.

Editors, please note that a list of the new panel members by state is included below.

New Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Members Selected in December 2006

Tice, Charles (Chuck) — Blytheville, Ariz.
Lee, Merijane (M J) — Portola Valley, Calif.
Lundberg, Gary  — Carlsbad, Calif.
Davidson, Charles  — Redding, Calif.
Stahl, Howard  — Los Angeles, Calif.
Jason, Julie  — Greenwich, Conn.
Paris, Mark  — Panama City, Fla.
Rodriguez, Alberto  — Miami, Fla.
Armstrong, Mary  — Pensacola, Fla.
Cooper  III, Reuben (Dale) — Atlanta, Ga.
Edwards, James (Byron)  — Roswell, Ga.
Tremblay, Donna  — Buford, Ga.
Freeman, Chris  — Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Khan, Anne  — Chicago, Ill.
Kennedy, Jeff L. — Louisville, Ky.
Fulkrod, Steve  — Bel Air, Md.
Wright, Kenneth K.  — Ashland, Mo.
Shah, Rajiv  — Columbia, Mo.
Hutchinson, Carolyn  — Fletcher, N.C.
Lester, Judy  — Chapel Hill, N.C.
Widmer, Harris  — Fargo, N.D.
Chapman, Benson  — Wayne, N.J.
Criel, Laura  — Albuquerque, N.M.
Whiteside, Deidra  — Buffalo, N.Y.
Chen, Betty  — New York, N.Y.
Wernz, Stan  — Cincinnati, Ohio
Bensen, Milissa  — Hermiston, Ore.
Brown, Kimberly  — Blakeslee, Pa.
Bryant, Pat  — Millington, Tenn.
Bell, S. Kay  — Austin, Texas
Bryant, Michael  — Oakton, Va.
Yaeger, William  — Alexandria, Va.
Colombo, Paul  — Colchester, Vt.

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