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Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report

2010 January 6
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by dtolleth

Nina Olsen, National Taxpayer Advocate, released her annual report to Congress yesterday.  The Internal Revenue Code requires the National Taxpayer Advocate to submit its report each year and “to identify at least 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers and to make administrative and legislative recommendations to mitigate those problems . Thus, the statute requires that the report focus on problems and areas in need of improvement.”

At the conclusion of the Executive Summary she writes:

As I see it, the IRS is subject to three diverging forces – increased responsibility for non-core tax administration duties, increasing demand for taxpayer service (including telephone assistance) and declining resources for that demand, and collection policies that mask a laissez faire attitude to taxpayer harm under the guise of “efficiency .” The taxpayer is wedged in the middle of these forces, being pulled in all directions, but never the right one. How the IRS weathers this storm depends on its willingness to candidly reassess its taxpayer service and enforcement strategies and commit to necessary changes, as well as on congressional oversight to ensure that this happens.

The report is chocked full of insightful observations and recommendations about how the IRS can better service taxpayers, improve taxpayer compliance, and how Congress can improve legislation to make administration of how the Treasury and IRS administer the tax collection process.

You make want to take a look at the Executive Summary: Preface, and Highlights. (You must have a copy of Adobe Reader to view this document.)

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