Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Releases 2010 Annual Report

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Advisory Group Completes 135 Recommendations and Projects Designed to Reduce Taxpayer Burden and Improve IRS Customer Service

2010 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Annual Report

2010 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Annual Report

The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a Federal Advisory Committee consisting of 102 citizen volunteers from across the nation, has released its 2010 Annual Report describing its activities and recommendations to improve Internal Revenue Service (IRS) service and customer satisfaction. The report summarizes the TAP’s accomplishments in 2010, including 101 new recommendations the panel provided to the IRS.

The 2010 Annual Report highlights key TAP recommendations for IRS customer service improvements that include:

  •     Improving signs and visual communications in Taxpayer Assistance Centers;
  •     Improving the clarity of content in Audit Technique Guides used for various industries and professions;
  •     Improving the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and promoting Financial Education and Asset Building materials; and
  •     Improving numerous IRS notices, forms, and publications.

The report highlights additional TAP activities that include:

  •     Outreach to the taxpaying public and service as a listening post for the IRS;
  •     Development of 101 recommendations to the IRS based on taxpayer comments;
  •     Completion of 34 projects at the request and direction of the IRS; and
  •     Teaming with the IRS on a number of special events, including Town Hall meetings, Tax Forums, Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Days, and IRS Live Webinars.

In the report, Sabby Jonathan, the TAP Chair during 2010, recognized the dedicated efforts of panel members who work toward improving the taxpayer experience with the IRS. Said Jonathan: “It has been exceptionally rewarding working with people of diverse backgrounds, panel members as well as staff, all focused on a single goal – improving the IRS for the benefit of taxpayers. The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is an effective and important group that enables ordinary citizens to bring about real change. With 237 million tax returns expected to be filed in 2011, improvements at the IRS initiated by the TAP have affected a great number of people. I look forward to seeing the TAP’s continuing success and its positive impact on the taxpaying public.”

TAP members are appointed by the Treasury Department from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. TAP members serve three-year terms, with approximately one-third replaced each year by new volunteers. The TAP is chartered as an independent advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to provide a taxpayer perspective on critical tax administration programs.

Current TAP Chair Thomas Walker formally submitted the 2010 TAP Annual Report to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and the National Taxpayer Advocate on September 30, 2011. Walker acknowledged the Treasury Department, the IRS, and the Taxpayer Advocate Service for their support and partnership in working toward improved IRS service and taxpayer satisfaction. “Taxpayers face challenges in understanding and meeting their tax responsibilities, and it is critical that Americans have a voice in how government responds to those challenges,” he said. “The TAP plays a significant role in allowing average citizens to participate in the IRS decision-making process.”

A copy of the 2010 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Annual Report is available on the TAP website: http://www.improveirs.org. For any questions about the TAP or to submit a suggestion to improve IRS services, please call the Panel’s toll-free number, 1-888-912-1227.

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Steve Berkey
Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
(954) 423-7392
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