The National Taxpayer Advocate is Congress’s appointed “voice of the taxpayer” inside the IRS. The Internal Revenue Code requires the National Taxpayer Advocate to submit two annual reports to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance. The National Taxpayer Advocate is required to submit these reports directly to the Committees without any prior review or comment from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Office of Management and Budget. The first report, due by June 30 of each year, must identify the objectives of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate for the fiscal year beginning in that calendar year.
In June, Nina Olsen, the current Taxpayer Advocate, released her 2017 Objectives report. In it, she detailed a review of the 2016 filing season, which noted poor customer service response. She then went on to outline 14 “Areas of Focus,” including topics such as “The IRS Plan for Implementing the Private Debt Collec”tion Program Includes Practices That Will Harm Taxpayers and Tax Administration” and “As the IRS Develops an Online Account System, It Risks Imposing Undue Burden on Taxpayers Who Require More Personalized Services.” She also wrote about “efforts to improve TAS advocacy and service to taxpayers.
Overall, Olsen has done a decent job in her role, and the report is worthwhile to read it in its entirety. You can view the full report here.