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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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1040 Abroad

Can You Help Improve the IRS?

The IRS has an independent body designed to improve its service to taxpayers which depends on volunteers, including expats. You have until May 14, 2021 to apply to be one of them.
By News Team
Published on April 15, 2021

TAP-IRS

You may know that the Internal Revenue Service operates the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a combination of an advisory body and a focus group, aiming to listen to taxpayers’ issues and suggest improvements to the IRS’s service and raise ‘customer satisfaction’ in the United States and abroad. You can read an explanation of what it is and why it matters to overseas American taxpayers here.

The TAP is now looking for civic-minded volunteers to join it and help other expat US taxpayers. The role is voluntary, part-time and unpaid. TAP is made up of around 75 people, representing each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In recent years it has included one person living outside the United States. Each of them serve for three years.

Dr Laura Snyder Dr Laura Snyder, whose 3 years of service on the TAP ends in December

The overseas position becoming vacant is currently held by Laura Snyder, who lives in Paris, France and has focused on looking after the interests of international American taxpayers, defined by the IRS as including US citizens working, living, or doing business abroad or in US territories. Dr Snyder’s three year tenure concludes at the end of 2021, but the search for her replacement starts now.

If you’re in the USA, or planning to move back to the States, the TAP is also seeking members in 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. It is looking for alternates 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.

All applications will be given consideration, and as federal advisory committees are required to have a balanced membership applicants from under-represented groups, such as Native Americans are particularly encouraged to apply. Non-tax professionals are very welcome to apply.

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins thanked TAP volunteers, saying: "I am grateful to these citizens for volunteering their time and talent to the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. 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."

If you are interested in serving on the TAP panel, you must be a US citizen, be current with your federal tax obligations, be able to commit to 200 to 300 volunteer hours during the year and pass a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check. TAP members cannot be federally registered lobbyists or current Department of the Treasury or IRS employees

You can apply until May 14. Click here.

For more information about the TAP and the application process, go to www.improveirs.org, call 888-912-1227 (a toll-free call in the US) or 214-413-6523 (from outside the US, not toll-free) or email taxpayeradvocacypanel@irs.gov

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