It’s hard to believe, but the IRS does have something called The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. Hard to believe? Yes, especially when you are getting those demand letters from the IRS and you are behind on your taxes. But the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel does exist, and it is a Federal Advisory Committee to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The TAP helps to identify tax issues of importance to taxpayers and to provide a taxpayer perspective to the IRS on key programs, products, and services. It also serves as a focus group that makes recommendations to the IRS and the National Taxpayer Advocate.

The TAP is actually a group of 75 citizen volunteers who apply to the IRS to work on the panel. These volunteers listen to taxpayers, identify taxpayers’ issues, and make suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction. Right now, the IRS is trying to tackle a big backlog of tax returns that have not yet been processed — delaying refunds to many Americans.

The TAP is demographically and geographically diverse; it is made up of taxpayers from all walks of life representing each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The TAP also has at least one member living abroad to represent international taxpayers.

TAP members conduct outreach to solicit suggestions or ideas from citizens and serve on project committees working with IRS program owners on topics important to taxpayers and the IRS. The members participate in meetings and focus groups and develop and submit recommendations to improve the IRS.

You can make suggestions to the TAP. Call them at 888-912-1227 and give them suggestions — or a piece of your mind.