National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson delivered a report to Congress that identifies the priority issues the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate will address in the coming fiscal year. Among the key areas of focus will be improving IRS procedures to protect victims of tax-related identity theft and expanding outreach and education to individuals who have lost their homes to foreclosure concerning the “cancellation of debt” tax consequences they face. The report notes that July 22, 2008, will mark the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, which created the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate in its current form and added significant taxpayer rights protections. Olson praised the legislation, saying: “From my perspective as the National Taxpayer Advocate, I see daily how much taxpayers benefit from RRA 98.”
The objectives report is one of two reports that the National Taxpayer Advocate is required by statute to submit to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance each year. The statute requires these reports to be submitted directly to the Committees without any prior review or comment from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Secretary of the Treasury, the IRS Oversight Board, any other officer or employee of the Department of the Treasury, or the Office of Management and Budget.