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Join the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and help improve the IRS; apply by May 14

The Internal Revenue Service today announced it is seeking civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP).

The TAP is a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies major taxpayer concerns and makes recommendations for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction.

Taxpayers interested in serving on the panel may apply between April 5 and May 14.

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins recently expressed her appreciation for the contributions of TAP volunteers to improve the experience of U.S. taxpayers. “I am grateful to these citizens for volunteering their time and talent to the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel,” she said. “I am very proud of the accomplishments of the TAP last year, and I look forward to the TAP bringing its valuable taxpayer perspective in recommending changes to tax administration to achieve the quality service that taxpayers expect and deserve.”

The TAP reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and the National Taxpayer Advocate. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is an independent organization within the IRS that provides support for and oversight of the TAP.

To the extent possible, the TAP includes members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and one member representing international taxpayers. Each member is appointed to represent the interests of taxpayers in his or her geographic location as well as taxpayers overall. For the TAP, “international taxpayers” are broadly defined to include U.S. citizens working, living, or doing business abroad or in U.S. territories.

The TAP is seeking members in the following locations: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, International, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

The panel is seeking alternates in the following locations: Alabama, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Federal advisory committees are required to have a balanced membership in terms of viewpoints represented. As such, applicants from under-represented groups, such as Native Americans and non-tax professionals, are particularly encouraged to apply. All timely applications, however, will be given consideration.

New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2021. Applicants chosen as alternate members will be considered to fill any vacancies that open in their areas during the next three years.

To be a member of the TAP, a person must be a U.S. citizen, be current with his or her federal tax obligations, be able to commit 200 to 300 volunteer hours during the year and 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, and former Department of the Treasury or IRS employees and former TAP members must have a three-year separation from their service to be considered for appointment. Tax practitioner applicants must be in good standing with the IRS (meaning not currently under suspension or disbarment).