Just a quick note this morning, as I'm about to get on a plane and I have to finish packing.
I'm heading to Washington, D.C., for five days. A tiny bit of it will be personal (looking forward to our dinner tonight, Maxine!). But most of my time will be filled with learning the ropes of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel.
The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel or TAP (ahhh, it's good to be heading back to the nation's capital, home of the acronym and jargon!) is a group of volunteers tasked (see, jargon) with helping the IRS identify ways to improve customer service and satisfaction.
Quit laughing! It is possible and I'm proud to be a part of the effort.
I applied for this panel a few years ago, but didn't make the cut. Then, being nothing if not persistent, back in April I again submitted my name for consideration. This time, Uncle Sam really wants me!
I'm happy to say that obviously when I hinted at this opportunity back in July (Book me, Danno), I didn't jinx my chances.
I'm also happy to say that all those letters (well-written and thoughtful, despite the asinine actions that prompted them) that I sent to various presidents over the years (most recently to 41 and 43) apparently didn't show up in my background check.
Over the next few days, I'll be learning more about TAP, meeting my colleagues from around the United States and finding out exactly what is expected of panel members. I suspect much of our job will be dry and procedural and not that interesting to most folks, even those of you who care enough about our tax system to regularly visit Don't Mess With Taxes.
But when I can, or am even encouraged by TAP officials, to share our work, you guys will definitely read about it here.
And finally, I have to point out one other thing. The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is a federal advisory committee established under the authority of the Department of the Treasury.
So to all you tax protesters out there who, whenever I encourage folks to pay (but not overpay) their IRS bills, accuse me of being a "tool of the government," I guess now, at least in part, you're officially right about something!