WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today the selection of 24 new members to serve on the nationwide Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. The TAP is a federal advisory committee charged with providing taxpayer suggestions to improve IRS customer service.
The new TAP members, recommended by the IRS and approved by the Department of the Treasury, will join 47 returning members to round out the panel of 71 volunteer members for 2017. The new members were selected from a pool of more than 900 interested individuals who applied during an open recruitment period last spring, as well as alternate members who applied in prior years.
The TAP listens to taxpayers at public forums they hold and through other taxpayer contacts, identifies problems 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 individual taxpayers and the small business community. 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 a three-year appointment 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.
Taxpayers can contact the TAP representative for their geographic area by calling 888-912-1227 or 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 2018 may submit an application at www.improveirs.org during the current recruiting period, open now through April 24.
A list of the new TAP members by location is included below.
Name City State
Richard Herman Fresno Calif.
Kristen Petersen Colorado Springs Colo.
Dan Smolnik Brookfield Conn.
Alice Azzaro Wellington Fla.
James Sowell Panama City Fla.
Angela Hower Norwalk Iowa
Michelle Brookens Taylorville Ill.
Kimberly Mason Chicago Ill.
Tasheka Dorsey Darrow La.
William McGauley Brockton Mass.
Michele Walker Brownstown Township Mich.
Millicent Kasal Saint Paul Minn.
Joseph Martin Jefferson City Mo.
David Buchanan Canton Miss.
Allen Straub Omaha Neb.
Mariely Downey Amherst N.Y.
Heidi Hirschfield Brooklyn N.Y.
Jimit Shah Bethpage N.Y.
Alyssa Burrows Scranton Pa.
Deborah Oakes Swarthmore Pa.
Victor Quillen Kingsport Tenn.
Kimberly Pierre Spring Texas
Shirley Atkinson-Samms Salt Lake City Utah
Joseph Holley Barboursvillle W.Va.