National Taxpayer Advocate Convenes First in Series of Public Forums Feb. 23 to Seek Comments on What Taxpayers Want and Need from the IRS to Comply with Tax Obligations

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The National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson will hold a series of public forums around the country to seek comments and suggestions regarding what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to help them comply with their tax obligations. The first public forum will be held on Tuesday, February 23, and will include a panel presentation and discussion on digital behavior of Americans, including trends for future usage, and members of the audience will have an opportunity to offer comments at the conclusion of the panels.

The public forums will seek comments and suggestions from taxpayers on what they want and need from the IRS to help them comply with their tax obligations.

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson will convene the first in a series of public forums on taxpayer service on Tuesday, February 23, at 10 a.m. ET at the IRS Headquarters Building in Washington D.C. Following panelist statements and a Q&A session, members of the public will have an opportunity to provide comments.

During the last two years, the IRS has been developing a “Future State” plan that outlines how it will operate in five years and beyond. A central component of the plan is the creation of online taxpayer accounts as a convenient but non-exclusive channel through which taxpayers will be able to obtain information from and interact with the IRS. To date, the IRS has not released its “Future State” plan, nor has it solicited reaction and suggestions from taxpayers.

In her 2015 Annual Report to Congress, Olson recommended the IRS solicit comments from taxpayers and tax professionals, including their thoughts on the extent to which taxpayers will continue to need telephone and in-person assistance, so the “Future State” plan will better reflect taxpayers’ needs and preferences as they seek to comply with the tax code. This series of public forums will fulfill the purpose of seeking comments from the public.

The February 23rd public forum will consist of three panels. Olson will conduct the hearing, and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will deliver welcoming remarks. Participants in the three panels include:

Panel 1:

  • Pamela F. Olson, Washington National Tax Services Practices Leader, PwC and Former Assistant Secretary (Tax Policy), Department of the Treasury
  • Leslie Book, Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law

Panel 2:

  • Jennifer MacMillan, Enrolled Agent, Chair, Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee (IRSAC)
  • Timothy J. McCormally, Director, Washington National Tax, KPMG, Vice Chair, Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee (IRSAC)
  • Michael Gangwer, Tax Advisor, The Vanguard Group, Inc., Chair, Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC)
  • Jim Buttonow, HR Block, Chair, Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC)
  • Gina Jones, Enrolled Agent, Chair, Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP)

Panel 3:

  • Michael Best, Senior Policy Advocate, Consumer Federation of America
  • Aaron W. Smith, Associate Director (Research), Pew Research Center’s Internet Project
  • Representative of Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Federal Reserve (invited)

The public forum will take place in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20224.

Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter at the Constitution Avenue entrance. In addition, all visitors must present photo identification to enter the building. Because of access restrictions, the IRS will not admit visitors beyond the immediate entrance area more than 30 minutes before the public forum begins – as such, please plan to arrive by no later than 9:30 a.m.

For information about having your name placed on the building access list to attend the public forum, contact Deborah Powell or Brenda Jones at (202) 317-6100.

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Maryclaire Ramsey
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