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New Members Join the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

IR-2016-37, March 8, 2016                                                                                

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced it recommended and the Department of the Treasury has 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.

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 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.”

TAP members work with IRS executives on a variety of topics, with an emphasis on those involving the Wage & Investment and Small Business/Self-Employed Divisions. Members also serve as a conduit for bringing grassroots concerns raised by the taxpaying public to the attention of the IRS.

TAP members are U.S. citizens who volunteer to serve three-year appointments and are expected to devote 200 to 300 hours per year to panel activities. TAP members are demographically and geographically diverse, providing balanced representation from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In addition, there is one TAP member from abroad who represents the interests of taxpayers working, living, or doing business abroad or in a U.S. territory.

A list of the new TAP members, by location, is included below.

Name                                                                      City                                    State/Territory 

Terrence Randolph New Market AL
Gary Hoff Hot Springs Village AR
Lorena Barham New Haven CT
Paul Kurth Washington DC DC
Chardea Murray Jacksonville FL
Son Luu Tyrone GA
Collette Keeton Ellenwood GA
Ruth Tsujimura Honolulu HI
Scott Hall Louisville KY
Felicia Horton Lexington KY
Jon Lumbra Holyoke MA
Ellen Bemis Presque Isle ME
Mary Florence Kansas City MO
MiCoya Hutchins Nashua NH
Kathy Davis Albuquerque NM
Mary Ann Callahan New York NY
Brooks White Brooklyn NY
Louis Vlahos Port Washington NY
Diana Nelson Mason OH
Sheila Olsen Lawton OK
Dara Hackett Philadelphia PA
Omar Jana Caguas PR
Susan Wennermark Providence RI
Blake Parke Sioux Falls SD
William Mason Knoxville TN
Randy Williams Memphis TN
Ashley Hunter Austin TX
Rodney Steman Hurst TX
David Jones Hickory Creek TX
Kelly Hanssen Austin TX
Holly Hoffman Amherst WI
Timothy Bolin Cheyenne WY

Taxpayers can contact the TAP representative for their geographic area by calling 888-912-1227 toll-free or via the Internet at www.improveirs.org.

Taxpayers can also send written correspondence to the TAP at the following address:

Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP)
TA: TAP, Room 1509
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.  20224

Individuals interested in volunteering to serve on the TAP for 2017 may submit an application via the website www.improveirs.org during the next open recruiting period, which will begin later in March 2016.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 13-Feb-2017