Today, U.S. Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-IA) and Danny Davis (R-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation that would improve customer service and case outcomes at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by finally allowing the National Taxpayer Advocate – Erin M. Collins – to hire her own attorneys.
Since 2015, the IRS has prohibited the National Taxpayer Advocate from hiring legal counsel, which undermines her ability to effectively serve taxpayers and responsibly work with IRS caseworkers. In response, the National Taxpayer Advocate Enhancement Act would clarify that it is within the purview of the National Taxpayer Advocate to hire attorneys that specifically report to her and support her efforts.
U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“American taxpayers expect and deserve the best customer service and case outcomes when filing their federal taxes. Since 1996, the National Taxpayer Advocate has helped achieve these goals, serving as a nonpartisan resource to save taxpayers money and help them navigate the IRS,” said Rep. Feenstra. “However, for too long, the National Taxpayer Advocate has faced a significant hurdle to effectively do her job and help taxpayers nationwide receive the largest refund possible. By clarifying that the National Taxpayer Advocate can hire her own attorneys to support her work on behalf of taxpayers, American families will benefit from fewer headaches when dealing with the IRS and a more accountable government.”
The National Taxpayer Advocate and the Taxpayer Advocate System directly supports taxpayers in IRS related casework, and in part, through this network of taxpayer advocates, they can inform Congress of the challenges taxpayers face in any given filing year. The National Taxpayer Advocate therefore provides a critical lens for Congress to understand the challenges that constituents face in filing their taxes.
You can find the full legislative text HERE.