On February 19th, the IRS 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.
“To meet the needs of the taxpaying public, it is critical that the IRS listen to taxpayers to hear what their needs and preferences are,” said Bridget T. Roberts, the Acting National Taxpayer Advocate. “The citizen volunteers who serve on the TAP hear from taxpayers and then bring their collective voice and recommendations to the IRS.
New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2020. 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).