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The National Taxpayer Advocate Wants to Hear from You: Olson to Hold Public Forum on Taxpayer Service Needs in Baltimore on May 13

IR-2016-72, May 3, 2016                                                                                   

WASHINGTON — National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson and Sen. Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, will hold a public forum to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations. Sen. Cardin is also the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

The public forum will be held on Friday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore.

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 May 13 public forum will feature an invited panel of representatives from the small business and local taxpayer communities, including the following:

Angela Armstrong, Hospital Administrator and Founder
Animal Emergency Hospital

Elizabeth Atkinson, Attorney at Law
LeClairRyan, PC

Adam Crandell, Attorney at Law
Law Office of Adam N. Crandell, LLC

Robin McKinney, Director and Co-founder
Maryland CASH Campaign

Beverly Winstead, Director, University of Maryland Carey School of Law LITC
Winstead Law Group, LLC

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

Ms. Olson will conduct the hearing in collaboration with Sen. Cardin, who represents Maryland in the United States Senate. The Senate Committee on Finance, on which Senator Cardin serves, is responsible for, among other things, tax legislation and IRS oversight.

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 the Moot Courtroom (Room 160) at the Francis King Carey School of Law, University Of Maryland, 500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786.

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: 03-May-2016