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About the Report


The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), is an independent organization within the IRS. Led by the National Taxpayer Advocate, TAS is your voice at the IRS.

The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report to Congress creates a dialogue at the highest levels of government to address taxpayers’ problems, protect taxpayers’ rights, and ease taxpayers’ burden. Some of the problems discussed in this report were first identified when taxpayers came to TAS for help in resolving problems with the IRS.

The National Taxpayer Advocate delivers this report directly to the tax-writing committees in Congress (the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance), with no prior review by the IRS Commissioner, the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Office of Management and Budget.

The primary sections of the report include:

Most Serious Problems Encountered by Taxpayers

Each year’s Annual Report to Congress identifies the ten most serious problems facing taxpayers and offers recommendations to fix them. These issues can affect taxpayers’ basic rights and the ways they pay taxes or receive refunds, even if they’re not involved in a dispute with the IRS. As your voice at the IRS, the National Taxpayer Advocate uses the Annual Report to elevate these problems and recommend solutions to Congress and the highest levels of the IRS.

Most Litigated Issues

An analysis of the top ten most litigated issues in federal courts.

Supplemental Review of the 2020 Filing Season

Due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, the filing season was extended by three months. Therefore, TAS could not capture full filing season data prior to the publication of the FY 2021 Objectives Report to Congress. We’ve provided a supplemental analysis of the IRS’s filing season performance with data through the end of the extended 2020 filing season. 

TAS Case Advocacy

The TAS Case Advocacy function is primarily responsible for direct contact with all types of taxpayers (including individuals, businesses, and tax exempt entities), their representatives, and congressional staff to resolve specific problems taxpayers are experiencing with the IRS. Information from these contacts and case results are vital to TAS’s statutory mission to propose changes in the IRS’s administrative practices to alleviate taxpayers’ problems and identify potential legislative changes to relieve such problems. This section of the report discusses how TAS fulfills its mission to assist taxpayers with their specific issues and concerns involving IRS systems and procedures.

TAS Research Study

For the National Taxpayer Advocate, thorough research and analysis of current tax issues and trends is a vital part of the Annual Report. The Taxpayer Advocate Service research projects yield accurate, insightful data that inform her as she advocates for taxpayers and strengthen her authority and arguments before the IRS and Congress.

National Taxpayer Advocate 2021 Purple Book: Compilation of Legislative Recommendations to Strengthen Taxpayer Rights and Improve Tax Administration

The 2021 Purple Book presents a concise summary of 66 legislative recommendations that the National Taxpayer Advocate believes will strengthen taxpayer rights and improve tax administration. Most of the recommendations have been made in detail in prior reports, but others are presented in this book for the first time.

The Advocate believes that most of the recommendations presented in this volume are non-controversial, common sense reforms that the tax-writing committees and other committees and other Members of Congress may find useful.