Taxpayer Advocate Service Seeks Input on Universal Tax Issues

Members of the public who encounter systemic tax problems can now use the Internet to bring them directly to the attention of the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service that helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommends changes that will prevent problems.

"Individuals who have identified systemic issues that affect taxpayers on an ongoing basis will find it both easier and faster to use this new system," said Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate. "This will improve our ability to be responsive to taxpayers and speed the process of addressing their ongoing concerns."

Those wishing to bring issues to the attention of TAS can go to http://www.irs.gov/advocate and click on “What is Systemic Advocacy.” Private information, such as taxpayer names and identification numbers, will be screened out of any submissions. The system will also automatically generate a receipt notice for those taxpayers, tax practitioners, academicians and researchers who use it.

Advocacy projects will be initiated on those items that affect multiple taxpayers and relate to IRS systems, policies and procedures.

TAS opens advocacy projects on systemic issues that affect individual taxpayers, business taxpayers or both. In contrast with taxpayer-specific cases, systemic issues affect segments of the taxpayer population — locally, regionally or nationally. The issues require study and analysis, and may require administrative or legislative solutions. The advocacy projects developed from these issues are designed to accomplish four fundamental goals:

  • Protecting taxpayer rights,
  • Easing or preventing taxpayer burden,
  • Ensuring equitable treatment of taxpayers, or
  • Providing essential services to taxpayers.

To submit suggestions for advocacy projects, taxpayers previously were required to complete IRS Form 14411, “Systemic Advocacy Issue Submission Form,” online and then e mail or fax the submission. While this method is still available, taxpayers generally should find the Web-based application easier to use, Olson said. Taxpayers who lack Internet access can obtain Form 14411 by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

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