Join the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and help improve the IRS; apply by April 8

ssue Number:​ ​ ​ ​ IR-2022-37

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Join the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and help improve the IRS; apply by April 8

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced it is seeking civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP). Applications will be accepted through April 8.

What is the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel?

The TAP is a federal advisory committee that serves a vital role in tax administration. TAP members volunteer their time and energy to improve IRS services and taxpayer satisfaction by listening to taxpayers, identifying significant taxpayer concerns and making recommendations to address those concerns. The TAP is a diverse group of ordinary citizens who possess a sense of civic duty, patriotism and belief in an effective and well-regarded tax system The TAP makes a difference and by joining it you can too.

TAP successes in 2021

Each year, the TAP submits dozens of recommendations to the IRS. In 2021 alone, the TAP made 193 recommendations to the IRS, many of which have already been implemented. Because of the TAP’s recommendations in 2021, the IRS has improved many of its tax forms, instructions and publications, and clarified the information in several frequently-used IRS letters.

When the IRS closed one of its processing centers in 2021, the TAP worked with the IRS to ensure news releases and other messaging was issued to alert impacted taxpayers in several states. The TAP effectively advocated to have the IRS partner with volunteer tax preparation organizations to spread the message even further.

Martha J. Lewis, 2022 National TAP Chair, recently stated, “If we look at the past and all that TAP has accomplished, it’s truly amazing. We still have a lot of work to do, especially in the area of taxpayers understanding what we do and how we can help them.”

Who can apply

To the extent possible, the TAP includes members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as one member to represent U.S. citizens living and working abroad. Each member is appointed to represent the interests of taxpayers in their geographic location as well as taxpayers overall.

Federal advisory committees are required to have a balanced representation of different viewpoints. Therefore, applicants from under-represented groups, such as Native Americans and non-tax professionals, are particularly encouraged to apply. TAP is currently seeking candidates in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia. However, candidates residing in all the listed locations are encouraged to apply, and all timely applications will be considered.​

TAP members must be U.S. citizens who are current with their federal tax obligations and able to commit 200 to 300 volunteer hours during the year. TAP members must also pass a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check. Members cannot be federally registered lobbyists. Current Department of the Treasury or IRS employees cannot serve on the panel. Former Department of the Treasury or IRS employees and former TAP members can be considered for appointment three years after their employment or previous TAP membership has ended. Tax practitioner applicants must be in good standing with the IRS (meaning not currently under suspension or disbarment).

New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2022. Applicants chosen as alternate members will be considered to fill any vacancies in their areas during the next three years.

More information

For additional information about the TAP and to start the application process, visit www.improveirs.org or call toll-free at 888-912-1227 and select prompt number five. Callers outside the U.S. may call 214-413-6523 (not a toll-free number) or email the TAP staff at tap.recruitment@irs.gov. A video is also available with more information about the TAP and about how to contribute to this dynamic group of volunteers.

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