The Internal Revenue Service is seeking civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a federal advisory committee that makes recommendations for improving the agency’s service.

The TAP provides a forum for taxpayers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to raise concerns about IRS service and offer suggestions for improvement. The TAP reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, the IRS Commissioner and the National Taxpayer Advocate. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, an independent organization within the IRS, provides oversight and funding for the TAP.

“In trying to comply with an increasingly complex tax system, taxpayers may find they need different services from the IRS,” said National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson in a statement. “The TAP is vital because it provides the IRS with the taxpayer’s perspective and recommendations for improvements that will help the IRS to deliver the best possible service to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations.”

To be a member of the TAP, applicants must be U.S. citizens, current with their federal tax obligations, able to commit 300 to 500 hours during the year, and able to pass an FBI criminal background check.  New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2010. Anyone chosen as an alternate member will be considered to fill any vacancies that open in their area during the next two years.

The TAP is seeking members in the following locations: California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Washington.
Alternates are needed for Alabama, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, New York, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. 

Applications for TAP will be accepted through April 30, 2010. Applications are available online at For additional information about the TAP or the application process, call (888) 912-1227.

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