Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
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Map to the U.S. Tax System
By Andrea Price, TAP member representing Ohio
In July 2019, the Taxpayer Advocacy Service (TAS) released a
detailed “Subway Map” illustrating a Taxpayer’s Journey
through the U.S. tax system.
The “subway map” visually demonstrates, at a very high
level, the stages of a taxpayer’s journey through the tax
system – from getting answers to tax law questions through
audits, appeals, collection and litigation.
The map makes clear the complexity of tax administration,
with its many connections, overlaps and repetitions between
stages. Notably, it shows why the road to tax compliance
isn’t always easy to navigate.
The National Taxpayer Advocate’s (NTA) 2018 Annual Report to
Congress included a series of “roadmaps” depicting a
taxpayer’s “journey” through the tax system. The subway map
expands on the earlier roadmaps by providing a visually
clear depiction of the taxpayer’s journey.
The subway map and a video viewing are now available.
A hard copy is available as a print map. To place an order,
call 800-829-3676 and request Publication 5341 or order your
copy at taxpayeradvocate/irs.gov/roadmap.
“Anyone looking at this map will understand that we have an
incredibly complex tax system that is almost impossible for
the average taxpayer to navigate,” Nina Olson, NTA Director
said. “I’ve been fortunate to work with so many committed
members of Congress and their staff, in the House and the
Senate, on both sides of the aisles. The Taxpayer Advocate
Service’s remit – to ensure taxpayers are treated right by
the IRS and their rights protected – has no party
This year in the 116th Congress, the Senate and House
Taxpayer First Act, H.R. 3151
introduced by U.S. Representative John Lewis [D-GA-5] and
co-sponsored by Representative Brad Wenstrup [R-OH-2].
The Taxpayer First Act (HR 3151) protects taxpayers
from tax-related identity theft by expanding to all
taxpayers the ability to obtain an Identity Protection
Personal Identification Number (IP PIN), establishes an
independent office of appeals, includes provisions to exempt
low-income taxpayers from the IRS’ private debt collection
program and other measures to improve overall IRS customer
service. The bill was signed into law on July 1, 2019.
The IRS has adopted a
Taxpayer Bill of Rights
as proposed by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson. It
applies to all taxpayers in their dealings with the IRS. The
Taxpayer Bill of Rights groups the existing rights in the
tax code into ten fundamental rights, and makes them clear,
understandable, and accessible.
Watch the video and download a copy
of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (in English and en Español)
Taxpayer Advocacy Panel’s (TAP) mission is to listen to
taxpayers, identify taxpayers’ issues and make suggestions
for improving the IRS service and customer satisfaction. We
not only listen to taxpayers; we try to do something about
it. TAP is supported by and aligned with the IRS but is not
part of the IRS and are not employees of the IRS. TAP is
comprised of civic-minded citizen volunteers from all
walks of life representing each state, D.C., Puerto Rico and
an international member (citizens living, working or doing
Everyone has something to say about taxes and the IRS.
Please take a moment to give us your suggestions for TAP to
consider by contacting one of the following:
TAP Ohio member: