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National Taxpayer Advocate's Blog: Taxpayer Rights and Taxpayer Burden

Virtual Face-to-Face Audits: A prescription for curing the IRS’s ailing correspondence examination process

POSTED: April 04, 2012

While the IRS instituted correspondence or “corr” exams in an effort to conserve its resources and minimize taxpayer burden, IRS customer satisfaction surveys and Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) research studies have consistently shown that for the majority of taxpayers subject to this method of auditing – many of whom are low income and unrepresented – corr exams are an unnavigable labyrinth.

IRS Correspondence Examinations: Are they really as effective as the IRS thinks?

POSTED: March 13, 2012

In some of my recent blog postings, I’ve raised concerns about the impact of IRS correspondence examinations on taxpayers’ rights, including the failure to provide taxpayers with the specific name and contact information of the auditors examining their returns. The IRS uses correspondence examinations – “corr exams” – because it believes they are a cost-effective way to conduct audits of less complex issues for a large number of taxpayers while minimizing burden on those taxpayers.

Why We Need a Taxpayer Bill of Rights

POSTED: February 15, 2012

Last year, in a nationwide survey of U.S. taxpayers who had filed a 2010 tax return, the Taxpayer Advocate Service asked whether respondents believed they had rights before the IRS. We also asked if they knew what their rights as a taxpayer were when dealing with the IRS. Astonishingly (to me, at least), only 9% of respondents said they believed they had rights before the IRS. Fifty-five percent said they believed they had no rights and another 21% said they weren’t sure. (Fifteen percent didn’t answer the question.)

NTA Named to Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People of 2014

National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Nina Olson was named one of the 2014 Top 100 Most Influential People in Tax and Accounting by Accounting Today. The NTA is recognized for her ongoing quest to make the IRS better for all taxpayers, including her keen focus on the recently adopted Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Read the excerpt to learn more about the NTA’s work (free subscription required).


Nina E. Olson Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, is the voice of the taxpayer before the IRS and Congress. She leads the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization within the IRS, in helping taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and in working for systemic change in the IRS and the U.S. tax code.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the National Taxpayer Advocate. They do not reflect the positions of the Internal Revenue Service or any other IRS or Department of Treasury official.


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