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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 27, 2024

You Can Make a Difference – Apply to Become a Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Member by March 15

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More people in the U.S. interact with the IRS than any other government agency. From filling out a W-4 at a new job, to filing your annual tax return, receiving a refund, making a payment for taxes owed, receiving an IRS notice in the mail, or reaching out to the IRS to fix a problem with your taxes, it is likely you are interacting with the IRS at least once every year.

Over the past few years IRS interactions haven’t always been a great experience for taxpayers. I have written extensively about taxpayer service issues in my Annual Reports to Congress. Happily, this year I got to share some “cautious optimism” that things are getting better. But there is still a long way to go to make the system work better for all taxpayers. That is where the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) comes into play.

TAP is a federal advisory committee led by citizen volunteers dedicated to improving IRS customer service and tax administration. TAP members come from all walks of life and about half of the members are not tax professionals rather dedicated citizens wanting to make a difference with tax administration. Each year TAP members work on referrals from grassroots outreach, taxpayer submissions, and even the IRS, that identify problems with IRS services, products, and procedures. They research the issues, work directly with IRS operating divisions, and submit recommendations to the IRS with solutions to fix those issues and improve the taxpayer’s experience. Want to know more? Check out the TAP website at www.ImproveIRS.org.

TAP recommendations have advocated for improvements such as:

  • Establishing Customer Callback Technology over a majority of IRS toll-free telephone lines;
  • Providing taxpayers the option to get copies of their tax returns when using Free File; and
  • Initiating improvements to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Since its founding, over 700 TAP members with a sense of civic duty, patriotism, and a belief in an effective, well-regarded tax system have acted on behalf of taxpayers to improve the IRS.

Here is where YOU come in. TAP is recruiting members to be part of the 2025 – 2028 TAP team. TAP volunteers have a truly unique opportunity to give back to their country. No tax experience is required – all citizens looking to make a difference and speak up about issues that impact taxpayers living in the U.S. and abroad are encouraged to apply by March 15.

Serving as a TAP member is not only rewarding, it is important work. TAP needs diverse ideas and experiences to help transform the IRS.

TAP is currently seeking candidates in the following states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, and a member to represent taxpayers living or working abroad.

However, candidates residing in all locations are encouraged to apply, as alternates will be chosen to fill any vacancies that may occur. All timely applications submitted by March 15 will be considered.

YOU can truly make a difference!

For more information about member responsibilities and how to apply to become a TAP member visit www.ImproveIRS.org or apply now on USAJobs. You can also read the TAP Annual Report (coming out Wednesday, February 28) to learn about the incredible work our dedicated TAP members accomplished in 2023 and beyond.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the National Taxpayer Advocate. The National Taxpayer Advocate presents an independent taxpayer perspective that does not necessarily reflect the position of the IRS, the Treasury Department, or the Office of Management and Budget.

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