You made it through tax filing season. Congratulations!
Now take all the things you complained about while working on your tax return and use them to help improve the Internal Revenue Service.
No joke. The IRS wants to hear. Well, a part of the IRS does, specifically the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel.
There are a couple of ways you can contribute to making the tax filing and paying process better.
Join TAP: If you want to be hands-on, volunteer to be part of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, or TAP as it's commonly called.
TAP provides a forum where taxpayers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico can raise concerns about IRS service and offer suggestions for improvement.
The panel reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, the IRS Commissioner and the National Taxpayer Advocate, whose office provides oversight of TAP.
I served on TAP and it was a great experience. In fact, I one day plan to reapply. But not this year. So please, feel free to take my place.
Apply by Friday: TAP's approximately 80 members come from across the United States and the membership is rotated so that there is a good mix of panel veterans and newbies.
For this current recruitment period, which runs through April 27, TAP is looking for members from Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas (told you could have my spot!), West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The panel also needs alternates for Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
TAP members serve three-year terms and generally spend between 300 and 500 hours per year on member activities. There is some travel, but much of the work is done via electronic communications and phone conferences.
Once all your questions are answered, apply online to join TAP. But do so quickly. The panel application deadline ends this week, April 27.
Speak up! If you don't have the time right now to serve on TAP, but still want to help improve the IRS, let TAP know.
The panel depends on taxpayer input about areas where the IRS needs to do a better job.
All comments or suggestions are anonymous. But if you would like to hear what happens to your proposed way to make IRS service better, you can leave your name and email address.
You can submit your comments online, by calling TAP toll-free at 1-888-912-1227 or by writing to the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, 1111 Constitution Ave. N.W., Room 1314, Washington, D.C. 20224.
TAP and your fellow taxpayers thank you for your help.
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