WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service seeks civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies major taxpayer concerns and makes recommendations for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction. Taxpayers interested in serving on the panel may apply between now and April 27.
To the extent possible, the TAP includes members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and one member abroad who represents international taxpayers. Each member is appointed to represent the interests of taxpayers in his or her geographic location as well as taxpayers overall.
“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 reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service 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.
To be a member of the TAP, a person must be a U.S. citizen, be current with his or her federal tax obligations, be able to commit 200 to 300 volunteer hours during the year and pass a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check. Members cannot be federally-registered lobbyists. In addition, current Department of Treasury or IRS employees cannot serve on the panel, and former Department of Treasury or IRS employees and former TAP members must have a three-year separation from prior service to be considered for appointment. New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2018. 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 in the following locations: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming.
The panel is seeking alternates in the following locations: All states mentioned above, but particularly Colorado, Washington, DC, Delaware, Kansas, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington.
Federal advisory committees are required to have a fairly-balanced membership in terms of the points of view represented. As such, candidates from underrepresented groups like Native Americans and non-tax professionals are encouraged to apply. All timely applications, however, will be given consideration.
Applications for the TAP will be accepted through April 27, 2018. Applications are accepted now online. For additional information about the TAP or the application process, visit https://improveirs.org/ or call 888-912-1227 (a toll-free call) and select prompt number five. Interested applicants may also contact TAP staff for assistance.