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National Taxpayer Advocate Calls for Bill of Rights

Posted on in Taxation Law

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E Olson has released her annual report to Congress for 2013. In the report, Olson calls for the Internal Revenue Service to establish and implement a Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

According to the Report, a Bill of Rights like this would help establish In General Revenue Service goals, and performance measures, and help provide guidance for federal employees when they deal with taxpayers. More importantly, the Bill of Rights would provide information to American taxpayers that will help them while dealing with an Internal Revenue Service employee. Currently, most taxpayer rights are contained in the Internal Revenue Code, but these are not compiled in a comprehensive and coherent manner, and therefore, California tax lawyers find that most American taxpayers remain unaware of their rights.

This is not the first time that Olson has recommended such guidelines. Earlier too, she had called for the adoption of a Taxpayer Bill Of Rights, because when taxpayers are treated better, rather than being treated in an arbitrary manner, they learn to trust the system, and also become more likely to comply with tax laws.

In her report, Olson also drew attention to the fact that the federal tax agency is, very often, unable to serve taxpayers because of funding shortages. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service receives more than 100 million telephone calls, and according to official estimates, in 2013, employees were only able to attend to 51% of those calls.

According to the report, 2013 presented severe challenges for the federal tax agency not just because of the sequestration, but also because of the federal shutdown which lasted for 16 days, and delayed preparations for tax filing season. She calls on lawmakers to work together and come up with new ways to fund the Internal Revenue Service to prevent such delays in the future.

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