National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson and Sen. Chuck Grassley will Hold a Public Forum on May 5 to Hear What Taxpayers Need from the IRS to Fulfill Their Tax Obligations

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National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson is holding 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. Ms. Olson and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley will jointly host such an event on Thursday, May 5, in Red Oak, IA; members of the public and the local media are invited to attend this discussion on taxpayer services.

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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 and Sen. Chuck Grassley, a member and former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, will hold a public forum to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations.

The public forum will be held Thursday, May 5, at 8:30 a.m. at the Montgomery County Family YMCA in Red Oak, Iowa. Members of the public and the local media are invited to attend.

Building on initiatives already implemented, the IRS for the past two years has been developing a “Future State” plan that envisions how it will operate in five years and beyond. It is continuing to develop a path for how it gets from its “Current State” to the “Future State,” including refinements to the vision along the way. 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.

In the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2015 Annual Report to Congress, Ms. Olson expressed concerns about whether the IRS’s “Future State” plan adequately addresses taxpayer needs. She recommended the IRS solicit comments from taxpayers and tax professionals regarding the “Future State” plan, including their thoughts on the extent to which taxpayers will continue to need telephone and in-person assistance. To further public awareness and dialogue, she announced plans to hold a series of public forums around the country. The objective of the public forums is to ensure the “Future State” plan will better reflect the needs and preferences of U.S. taxpayers as they seek to comply with the tax code.

The May 5 forum will feature an invited panel of public interest representatives from the small business and local taxpayer communities, including the following:

  • Varel Bailey, President
  • Bailey Farms, Inc.
  • Tamara Borland, Director
  • Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Iowa Legal Aid
  • Alvin LaMar, Enrolled Agent
  • Iowa Farm Business Association
  • Kristy Maitre, Tax Specialist
  • Agricultural Education & Studies, Iowa State University
  • Wendy Smith, VITA Program Coordinator
  • United Way of Wapello County

Members of the public will also have an opportunity to speak.

Local Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) staff will be available to talk with attendees about unresolved tax issues and help determine if their situation qualifies for TAS assistance. TAS generally is unable to assist taxpayers with return preparation questions, but can provide assistance to taxpayers who have already filed their returns with the IRS for the current or past years and are experiencing problems that meet its case-acceptance criteria.

The public forum will take place at the Montgomery County Family YMCA in Red Oak, Iowa.

For information about the forum, go to TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov/public-forums.

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Maryclaire Ramsey
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