The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a volunteer group that works to improve customer service and satisfaction at the Internal Revenue Service, has released its 2005 Annual Report.

The report summarizes actions the panel took in the past year and summarizes 76 recommendations it made for improving the way the IRS does business.

The panel's seven area committees, which represent specific geographic areas, identified, researched, and forwarded suggestions to the IRS representing a wide variety of taxpayer concerns, and also took a look at specific agency programs.

For example, at the request of the IRS, this year committee members reviewed and proposed revisions to training materials for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance centers and Tax Counseling for the Elderly program volunteers; and participated in a wide range of usability tests.

During the year TAP members spoke with and distributed materials to almost 45,000 people across the country, urging taxpayers to share their ideas for improving the IRS. TAP also kicked off a series of Town Hall meetings in December 2005, with National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson moderating the public discussions.

Since the panel's creation in 2002, TAP has forwarded 187 recommendations to the IRS. Of those, more than 50 have already been fully or partially accepted, and more than another 60 are still under consideration by the IRS.

A copy of the 2005 TAP annual report is available at www.improveirs.org.

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