The IRS has named 27 new members to serve on the nationwide Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a federal advisory committee charged with providing taxpayer suggestions to improve IRS customer service.

The new TAP members will join 46 returning members to round out the panel of 73 volunteers for 2014. The new members were selected from more than 400 applicants.

The TAP listens to taxpayers, identifies issues and makes suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction. Oversight and program support for the TAP are provided by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS that helps resolve taxpayer problems and makes recommendations.

TAP members work with IRS executives on priority topics, primarily those involving the Wage & Investment and Small Business/Self-Employed operating divisions. Members also serve as a conduit for bringing grassroots concerns raised by the taxpaying public to the attention of the IRS.

Tax prep professionals named include:

  • Daniela Goia of Garden Grove, Calif.;
  • EA Dan Halleman of Thornton, Colo.;
  • Attorney Mary Kautzman of Windermere, Fla.;
  • CPA Gretchen Cooney of Holstein, Iowa;
  • Attorney Andrew VanSingel of Brookfield, Ill.;
  • Gina Jones of Dehli, La.;
  • CPA L. Keith Robinette of Ozark, Mo.;
  • Giovanni Mendez of San Juan, Puerto Rico;
  • Roger Paquette of Cumberland, R.I.; and,
  • CPA John Slough of Martinsburg, W.Va.

Accounting and business educators named include Catherine Jeppson of California State University/Northridge; Dr. Jeanie O’Laughlin of Los Angeles; and William Vetter of Cypress, Texas.
Members volunteer to serve a three-year appointment and are expected to devote 200 to 300 hours per year to panel activities. TAP members are demographically and geographically diverse, providing balanced representation from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Taxpayers can contact the TAP representative for their geographic area by calling (888) 912-1227 or via ImproveIRS.org.

Those interested in serving on the TAP for 2015 may submit an application via ImproveIRS.org during the next recruiting period, which begins in March.