National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson urged the Internal Revenue Service to adopt a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights in her annual report to Congress Thursday, saying it would increase trust in the agency and, more generally, strengthen the IRS’s ability to serve taxpayers and collect tax. In addition, she recommended allowing voluntary certification of unenrolled tax preparers if the IRS fails to win a court appeal of a ruling invalidating its testing requirements for tax preparers.

Olson also expressed deep concern that the IRS is not adequately funded to serve taxpayers, pointing out that the IRS annually receives more than 100 million telephone calls from taxpayers. In fiscal year 2013, she noted, the IRS could only answer 61 percent of the calls it received from taxpayers hoping to speak with an IRS customer service representative.

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