IRS on the lookout for a new Taxpayer Advocate

The Internal Revenue Service is searching for a new National Taxpayer Advocate, who will be succeeding longtime Taxpayer Advocate Service leader Nina Olson.

Olson announced her retirement in March after 18 years as National Taxpayer Advocate (see Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson to retire). On Monday, the IRS said it is seeking candidates from the tax community who are interested in the position.

“We need to take steps to ensure the IRS is doing everything we can to help every taxpayer, regardless of where they live,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement Monday. “As part of this, the National Taxpayer Advocate provides an extremely important role. The Advocate serves as the taxpayer’s voice inside the agency and helps taxpayers with issues they’ve been unable to resolve with the IRS.”

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson speaking at the AICPA National Tax Conference

The National Taxpayer Advocate leads the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service division, which has approximately 1,800 employees and managers across the country, with 79 offices, including at least one in each state, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The NTA also acts as a senior advisor to the IRS commissioner on issues of taxpayer concerns, focusing efforts on improving processes affecting taxpayers and emphasizing the IRS’s role in assisting taxpayers in complying with their legal requirements. The NTA is supposed to serve as the taxpayer’s “voice” and as a contributor to the IRS’s strategic management in formulating tax administration policy, long-range objectives, and internal administration aimed at modernizing business practices, management roles and performance measures.

The NTA is responsible for helping taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and propose changes to administrative policies or legislative solutions to help mitigate problems that have been identified affecting taxpayers. The National Taxpayer Advocate submits two reports each year directly to Congress on areas of tax law that impose significant burdens on taxpayers or the IRS, including recommending potential legislative changes to reduce those burdens.

Potential candidates should have a background in customer service and tax law as well as experience in representing individual taxpayers. Title 26 of U.S.C. §7803 (c) provides more information on the Taxpayer Advocate.

Those who are interested in the position can submit a letter of interest and resume by May 24, 2019 to OfficeofExecutiveServices@irs.gov.

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