WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced recently that it is seeking civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) in various states including Washington.
The TAP is 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 through March 30.
“To meet the needs of the taxpaying public, it is critical that the IRS listen to taxpayers to hear what their needs and preferences are,” said Bridget T. Roberts, the Acting National Taxpayer Advocate. “The citizen volunteers who serve on the TAP hear from taxpayers and then bring their collective voice and recommendations to the IRS.”
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.
To the extent possible, the TAP includes members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and one member representing international taxpayers. Each member is appointed to represent the interests of taxpayers in their geographic location as well as taxpayers overall. For the TAP, “international taxpayers” are broadly defined to include U. S. citizens working, living, or doing business abroad or in U.S. territories.
Federal advisory committees are required to have a balanced membership in terms of points of view represented. As such, applicants from under-represented groups, such as Native Americans and non-tax professionals, are particularly encouraged to apply. All timely applications, however, will be given consideration.
Requirements of volunteers
New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in Dec. 2020. Applicants chosen as alternate members will be considered to fill any vacancies that open in their areas during the next three years.
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. Current Department of the Treasury or IRS employees cannot serve on the panel, and former Department of the Treasury or IRS employees and former TAP members must have a three-year separation from their service to be considered for appointment. Tax practitioner applicants must be in good standing with the IRS (meaning not currently under suspension or disbarment).
For additional information about the TAP or the application process, visit www.improveirs.org/ or call 888-912-1227 (a toll-free call) and select prompt number five. Callers outside the U.S. may call 214-413-6523 (not a toll-free call) or email the TAP staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
A video is available with more information about the TAP and how to contribute to this dynamic group of volunteers.