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IRS now seeking volunteers for Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

IR-2019-68, April 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced it seeks civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP). The TAP is a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies major taxpayer concerns and makes recommendations for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction.

Taxpayers interested in serving on the panel may apply through May 3, 2019.

To the extent possible, the TAP includes members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and one international member who represents U.S. taxpayers working, living or doing business abroad or in a U.S. territory. Each member is appointed to represent the interests of taxpayers in their geographic location as well as taxpayers overall.

“In trying to comply with an increasingly complex tax system, taxpayers may find they need different services than the IRS is currently providing,” said Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate. “The TAP is vital because it provides the IRS with the taxpayers’ perspective as well as recommendations for improvement. This helps the IRS deliver the best possible service to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations.” 

The TAP reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, the IRS Commissioner and the National Taxpayer Advocate. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is an independent organization within the IRS that provides support for and oversight of the TAP.

To be a member of the TAP, a person must be a U.S. citizen, be current with his or her federal tax obligations, be able to commit 200 to 300 volunteer hours during the year and pass a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check. Members cannot be federally-registered lobbyists. In addition, current Department of the Treasury or IRS employees cannot serve on the panel, and former Department of the Treasury or IRS employees and former TAP members must have a three-year separation from their service to be considered for appointment. Tax practitioner applicants must be in good standing with the IRS (meaning not currently under suspension or disbarment).

New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2019. Applicants chosen as alternate members will be considered to fill any vacancies that open in their areas during the next three years.

The TAP is seeking members in the following locations: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The panel is seeking alternates in the following locations: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming.

Federal advisory committees are required to have a balanced membership in terms of the points of view represented. As such, applicants from under-represented groups, like Native Americans and non-tax professionals, are encouraged to apply. All timely applications, however, will be given consideration.

The IRS is pleased to announce 25 new members were selected for 2019. The new members join the returning members to round out the 59-member panel for 2019.

Applications for the TAP will be accepted between April 8, 2019, and May 3, 2019. Apply online. For additional information about the TAP or the application process, visit www.improveirs.org or call 888-912-1227 (a toll-free call) and select prompt number five. Callers who are outside of the U.S. may call 214-413-6523 (not a toll-free call). Or contact the TAP staff at taxpayeradvocacypanel@irs.gov for assistance.