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National Taxpayer Advocate to Hold Public Forum in the Bronx, N.Y., on March 18 on Taxpayer Service Needs and Preferences

IR-2016-39, March 11, 2016                                                                               

WASHINGTON — National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson and Rep. Jose Serrano, ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, will hold a public forum to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations.

The public forum will be held Friday, March 18, at 3:00 pm in Room C391 at the Hostos Community College in The Bronx, N.Y.  Members of the public and the media are invited to attend.

Building on initiatives already implemented, the IRS for the past two years has been developing a “Future State” plan that envisions how it will operate in five years and beyond. It is continuing to develop a path for how it gets from its “Current State” to the “Future State,” including refinements to the vision along the way. A central component of the plan is the creation of online taxpayer accounts as a convenient but non-exclusive channel through which taxpayers will be able to obtain information from and interact with the IRS. 

In the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2015 Annual Report to Congress, Ms. Olson expressed concerns about whether the IRS’s “Future State” plan adequately addresses taxpayer needs.  She recommended the IRS solicit comments from taxpayers and tax professionals regarding the “Future State” plan, including their thoughts on the extent to which taxpayers will continue to need telephone and in-person assistance. To further public awareness and dialogue, she announced plans to hold a series of public forums around the country. The objective of the public forums is to ensure the “Future State” plan will better reflect the needs and preferences of U.S. taxpayers as they seek to comply with the tax code.

The March 18 public forum, the second 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, including the following:

Elliot Quinones
Tax Accountant
Elliot Quinones & Associates

Erik Schryver, Esq.
Bronx Low Income Taxpayer Clinic
Legal Services NYC

German Tejeda
Senior Director, Income Policy
Food Bank for New York City

Steven Ettannani
Senior Advisor, State and Federal Policy
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs

Members of the public will also have an opportunity to speak.

Ms. Olson will conduct the hearing in collaboration with Rep. Serrano, who represents New York’s 15th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Serrano’s subcommittee is primarily responsible for setting and conducting oversight over the IRS budget.

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 in Room C391 of the C Building / East Academic Complex at the Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451.

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

About the Taxpayer Advocate Service

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights.  Your local advocate’s number is in your local directory and at taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov. You can also call TAS toll-free at 1–877–777–4778.  TAS can help if you need assistance resolving an IRS problem, if your problem is causing financial difficulty, or if you believe an IRS system or procedure isn’t working as it should. And our service is free.  For more information about TAS and your rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, go to taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov. You can get updates on tax topics at facebook.com/YourVoiceAtIRS, Twitter.com/YourVoiceatIRS, and YouTube.com/TASNTA.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 13-Feb-2017