Washington (April 6, 2004) -- The Internal Revenue Service is looking for civic-minded taxpayers to serve as members of a volunteer panel aimed at helping the agency improve customer service.

The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel -- which was established in October 2002 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act as a way of improving IRS responsiveness to taxpayers needs -- makes recommendations to the IRS and the Treasury on customer-service issues; identifies and prioritizes taxpayer issues; reports annually to the Treasury and the National Taxpayer Advocate; participates in meetings where taxpayers are invited to raise issues about their experiences with the IRS; and refers taxpayers who contact the panel to the IRS offices best able to address their issues.

TAP members serve a two-year term. To qualify as a TAP member, applicants must be U.S. citizens and be able to commit about 300 hours during the year to the panel. In addition, they must be current with their tax obligations and pass a criminal background check.

Applications are available at www.improveirs.org or by calling (866) 602-2223. Applications must be received by April 30.

"Because of the administration's actions to greatly expand the Taxpayer Advocate Panel to all 50 states, it now is able to play an even more critical role in ensuring that taxpayers from every corner of the country will have their voices heard," said Treasury Secretary John Snow.

-- WebCPA staff

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