Taxpayers are often quick to complain about customer service issues. Now, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) is seeking volunteers who are willing to help the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identify ways to improve customer service and satisfaction. 

TAP was established in 2002 under the authority of the Department of the Treasury. It’s a Federal Advisory Committee made up of approximately 75 volunteers representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (the Puerto Rico member represents the interests of U.S. taxpayers living overseas, including dual citizens, who must meet U.S. tax obligations). These volunteers generally spend between 200 and 300 hours per year on member activities that further TAP’s mission to improve the IRS.

You can check the list of current TAP volunteers here.

TAP listens to taxpayers, identifies taxpayers’ issues, and makes suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction. After TAP submits a recommendation, IRS program areas review the proposal and implement it if appropriate and feasible.

Sound like something you’d be good at tackling? TAP is looking for members to serve on the 2021 panel. TAP will begin accepting applications on February 18, 2020. 

To be selected for TAP, you must be a citizen of the United States of America and current with all federal tax obligations. You’ll also have to pass an FBI fingerprint and background check. You must have access to and use of a computer with Internet, e-mail, and word processing capability, and be willing and able to travel to attend TAP meetings several times during the year (be prepared to fund reimbursable travel expenses – except airfare). 

There are some dealbreakers, too. You may not be a federally registered lobbyist, and you may not be a Department of Treasury or IRS employee. 

Since 2002, TAP submitted 2,039 recommendations to the IRS. In 2018, TAP provided 152 recommendations to the IRS; you can read more details in the TAP 2018 Annual Report.

To sign up to receive an alert when TAP begins accepting applications, please visit www.improveirs.org.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my websiteKelly Phillips Erb

Years ago, I found myself sitting in law school in Moot Court wearing an oversized itchy blue suit. It was a horrible experience. In a desperate attempt to avoid anything… Read More

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer and podcaster.

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