Taxpayer Advocate Appears Before House Oversight Committee

Published: Apr 15, 2015

he House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, led by Chairman Mark Meadows (NC-11), today examined the findings included in the 2014 Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report. Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson testified on the details of the report [testimony].

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent office within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), issues the annual report to Congress pursuant to a statutory requirement. The report outlines at least 20 of the most serious problems facing the American taxpayer. During her testimony, Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson noted that:

·         This tax season, the IRS has answered under 40% of calls with wait times averaging more than 20 minutes

·         There is an ongoing need for improved safeguards against tax-related identity theft

·         Underutilization of existing tools and resources granted by Congress to the IRS leads to inefficiencies

·         Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has created an increased burden for the IRS and the American taxpayer

Follow Up

Ms. Olson committed to providing the Committee with a list of her recommendations that are zero to low cost that the IRS has not yet implemented. The Taxpayer Advocate also asked Congress to hold oversight hearings of the IRS to ensure that the IRS functions efficiently and is held accountable for how it uses taxpayer funds.  In addition, Ms. Olson made clear that one of the best ways Congress can improve the IRS is to simplify the tax code.