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Last Updated: February 8, 2024
TAS News: National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins named Most Powerful Women in Accounting for 2022
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is pleased to announce that the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and CPA Practice Advisor magazine named our very own National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins as one of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting for 2022.
Ms. Collins is among 25 women selected this year for driving innovation and excellence in the accounting profession, providing guidance and leadership in their organizations, and effectively representing accounting leadership through civic and community outreach.
“Public service is an honor and serving as the National Taxpayer Advocate and advocating for taxpayers is personally and professionally rewarding,” Ms. Collins says. “I am also proud to be included with this prestigious group of successful women. But this award is really an acknowledgement of the successful advocacy work of the TAS employees, our Low Income Taxpayer clinicians, and our Taxpayer Advocacy Panel volunteers. The work they do every day on behalf of taxpayers by providing a safety net for those in need and being the voice for taxpayers, that is powerful. I believe we all share the goal of protecting taxpayer rights and providing taxpayers a fair and just tax system.”
Protecting Taxpayer Rights
As the National Taxpayer Advocate, Ms. Collins has passionately advocated for removing obstacles taxpayers and people from vulnerable communities face when navigating the U.S. tax system. When asked by AICPA about the most important issue facing the accounting profession today, she continues to stress the need for simplification.
Ms. Collins advocates, “Administering tax and accounting regulations and laws is complex and overly burdensome. By minimizing the burdens on individuals, businesses, or other entities, accounting professionals can work towards simplification while preserving the purpose of the regulations and laws. COVID-19 brought numerous challenges and opportunities for IRS, IRS employees, taxpayers, and practitioners. I am proud to be part of the solutions and strive to protect taxpayer rights and improve taxpayer service.
“Serving as the head of the Taxpayer Advocate Service allows me to strive for creativity, think outside the box, and look for ways to improve tax administration by providing administrative and legislative recommendations. But it takes a village, and I am thankful for our ability to collaborate and having a great team.”
Advice For Professional Women
In accepting the Most Powerful Women in Accounting award, Ms. Collins also passed down some valuable career advice for other women looking to achieve success.
She says, “One key to my success is having a strong support network. A support network can be your family, friends, colleagues, mentors, or members of a professional organization. Just knowing someone is in your corner to bounce off ideas, having a safe and trusted zone, and knowing you will be supported, even if you disagree, is crucial. Mentoring is a big part of a support network – whether you are the mentor or mentee. We need to support each other for all of us to be successful.”
“My mantra is to be true to yourself and always follow your true north. The most important thing is to trust your gut and do what you think is right,” Ms. Collins concludes.
The winners of this year’s awards were announced on June 8 at the AICPA ENGAGE Conference in Las Vegas. The Advocate appeared in a video with other recipients that aired during the awards presentation and will also be featured in the CPA Practice Advisor magazine.