The IRS is seeking civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP)
, a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies key issues, and makes recommendations for improving IRS service.
"TAP members give the IRS insights from every corner of our nation, helping the agency in its continuous effort to improve tax administration," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.
Acting as a channel between the IRS and the general public, the TAP:
- Identifies taxpayer issues based on feedback submitted to the TAP by the general public and raises these issues directly to the IRS.
- Submits recommendations to the IRS to improve efficiency, adjust problematic systems or procedures, and improve taxpayer service.
- Works closely with IRS employees to resolve problems and monitors the progress of the IRS in implementing and maintaining solutions.
- Listens to taxpayers through events that are open to the public and are designed to gather information on IRS issues.
"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, National Taxpayer Advocate. "The TAP is vital because it provides the IRS with the taxpayers' perspective as well as recommendations for improvement. This will help the IRS deliver the best possible service to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations."
The TAP provides a forum for taxpayers from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The TAP reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, the IRS Commissioner, and the National Taxpayer Advocate. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, an independent organization within the IRS, provides oversight of the TAP.
To be a member of the TAP you must be a US citizen, current with your federal tax obligations, able to commit 300 to 500 hours during the year, and able to pass an FBI criminal background check. New members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2012. If you're chosen as an alternate member, you'll be considered to fill any vacancies that open in your area during the next three years.
The TAP is seeking members in the following locations: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The panel needs alternates for Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
Applications will be accepted through April 27, 2012, and are available online
. For additional information about the TAP or the application process, please call toll free (888) 912-1227.