Washington (Sept. 29, 2003) -- The American Institute of CPAs has submitted a letter to Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson critical of the local Taxpayer Advocate program.

According to the letter, CPA practitioners have reported that some local offices are functioning very effectively, while others are less effective.

The AICPA said some of the problems taxpayers are experiencing with resolution of individual cases may stem in part from the Internal Revenue Service's reorganization that abolished the district director system in favor of the four current operating divisions.  Under the old organization, problem resolution officers were supported by the district director's authority and it was in many ways in the district director's self-interest to ensure that cases referred to the Problem Resolution Office were quickly and judiciously handled.

The local Taxpayer Advocates are often a taxpayer's last available lifeline for seeking resolution of a chronic/problem case, according to the AICPA, "and thus, we are very interested in helping you find solutions to the current problems some local advocates are facing with their current casework inventory."

The AICPA stated it would "like to open a dialogue" with the IRS about "ways to improve the effectiveness of all local taxpayer advocate offices, specifically with respect to casework advocacy issues."

-- WebCPA staff

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