What Good is the National Taxpayer Advocate?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the history and operation of the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), a component of the Internal Revenue Service. Its thesis is that the TAS provides a necessary check on IRS operations, but not in the sense that the TAS reviews substantive decisions. Instead, the TAS serves to help taxpayers tripped up in a highly automated system. <br> <br>The article first explains how important and often overlooked changes in tax administration since World War II have created a need for an office such as TAS. It then examines the structure of TAS operations, focusing on the reoganization mandated by Congress in the 1998 IRS Restructuring and Reform Act. Finally, it explores the key challenges that confront the TAS. The first challenge is balancing being part of the IRS with being independent from the IRS. Sometimes the TAS is too much the insider and sometimes it is not inside enough. The second challenge is balancing how the TAS exercises its power to help taxpayers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1256
JournalTax Notes
StatePublished - Mar 8 2010


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