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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 identifies taxpayers’ problems and provides suggestions to further protect taxpayer rights and ease taxpayer burden.

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.


Section 7803(c)(2)(B)(ii) of the Internal Revenue Code requires the National Taxpayer Advocate to submit this report each year and in it, among other things, to identify the ten most serious problems encountered by taxpayers and make administrative and legislative recommendations to mitigate those problems.

This year’s report shares both good news and bad news. The magnitude of the IRS’s successes exceeded the areas of weakness in 2023, and most metrics showed the IRS made significant improvement from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS virtually eliminated its backlog of unprocessed original individual income tax returns (Forms 1040) and substantially improved telephone service.

However, many taxpayer service challenges remained, especially in areas that required IRS employees to process tax returns and taxpayer correspondence. Nearly half a million taxpayers waited on average 19 months for the IRS’s help resolving their identity theft issues. The IRS experienced continuing backlogs in processing amended individual income tax returns, amended business tax returns, and correspondence. These processing delays caused delays in taxpayers receiving their refunds. Additionally, the IRS struggled to balance employees between answering phones and processing correspondence. Though the IRS’s telephone service improved overall, taxpayers still struggled to get help. The IRS’s own metrics that define its telephone service success exclude the majority of calls from its calculation. For taxpayers who filed eligible Employee Retention Credit claims, they often waited six months or longer to receive their credits or refunds. The IRS must reduce the processing backlog of the claims while ensuring that it does not pay fraudulent or non-qualifying claims.

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. Additionally, TAS has a Most Serious Problems At a Glance document breaking down the ten most serious problems taxpayers faced this year and related key statistics.

Most Litigated Issues

The section discusses the ten federal tax issues most frequently litigated during the preceding year and contains an analysis of cases petitioned in the Tax Court rather than simply decided cases, providing a much broader view of issues taxpayers bring to court.

TAS Advocacy

In this section, TAS reports on some of its 2023 advocacy updates and highlights. We begin with a report from our Case Advocacy function, followed by a report from our Systemic Advocacy function. The Advocate summarizes the National Taxpayer Advocate’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 Taxpayer Advocate Directives and shares the Highlights of TAS Successes During the Fiscal Year.

TAS Research

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

National Taxpayer Advocate 2024 Purple Book: Compilation of Legislative Recommendations to Strengthen Taxpayer Rights and Improve Tax Administration

The 2024 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, other committees, and other members of Congress may find useful.