National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson held a public forum in Portland, Ore., on Thursday, August 18, to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations. The forum was held in Portland at the invitation of Sen. Ron Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance.
Over 40 members of the public attended the forum at the Hollywood Senior Center in Portland. The panelists and the public addressed many aspects of the IRS Future State plan, including potential issues with online account access by nonregulated return preparers and concerns over senior citizens becoming victims of tax-related fraud. In Oregon, return preparers are regulated by the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners; which requires stringent testing and continuing education requirements. A panelist who works with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in the Native American community described challenges faced by her clients such as access to broadband and difficulties getting face-to-face assistance at the local Taxpayer Assistance Centers.
The Portland panel also raised their concerns over the effect of increasingly complex tax laws, continued education and training needs for IRS customer service representatives who assist taxpayers through various processes, and enhancing taxpayers’ ability to navigate through an electronic notice process without assistance from a reputable preparer.
Several of the panelists submitted written statements:
- Sarah Adams, Executive Director, CASH Oregon | Portland, OR
- Susan Gallagher-Smith, Enrolled Agent, Board Chair, Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners | Eugene, OR
- Michael L. Such, Research Assistant, Lewis & Clark Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Lewis & Clark Law School | Portland, OR
- llene Waterman, VITA volunteer, Native American Youth and Family Center | Portland, OR
More about the forum:
Comments regarding the Future State of the IRS may be submitted by email. Please do not send account-related questions to this email address.