WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced it seeks civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies major taxpayer concerns, as well as making recommendations for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction.
The TAP provides a forum for taxpayers to raise concerns about IRS service and offer suggestions for improvement. The TAP reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, the IRS Commissioner and the National Taxpayer Advocate. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is an independent organization within the IRS that provides support for and oversight of the TAP.
“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, the National Taxpayer Advocate. “The TAP is vital because it provides the IRS with the taxpayers’ perspective as well as recommendations for improvement. This helps the IRS deliver the best possible service to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations.”
The TAP includes members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and one member abroad who represents U.S. taxpayers living overseas. Each member is appointed to represent the interests of taxpayers in his or her geographic location as well as taxpayers as a whole.
To be a member of the TAP, a person must be a U.S. citizen, not be a current employee of any bureau of the Treasury Department or have worked for any bureau of the Treasury Department within three years preceding Dec. 1 of the current year, be current with his/her federal tax filing and payment obligations, be able to commit 200 to 300 volunteer hours during the year, and pass a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check. Individuals who practice before the IRS must be in good standing with IRS. New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2016. Applicants chosen as alternate members will be considered to fill any vacancies that open in their areas during the next three years.
The TAP is seeking members or alternates in the following locations: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Federal advisory committees are required to select members who represent a balance of perspectives. As such, individuals from underrepresented groups, Native Americans and non-tax professionals, are encouraged to apply. However, all timely applications from the locations listed above will be given consideration.
Applications for the TAP will be accepted through May 16, 2016. You must apply online at www.usajobs.gov. For additional information about the TAP or the application process, you may visit www.improveirs.org and select the “Join TAP” tab or call 888-912-1227 (a toll-free call) and select option number 5. You may also contact the TAP staff at email@example.com for assistance. Callers who are outside of the U.S. and U.S. territories may call 214-413-6523 (not a toll-free call).