Charles O. Rossotti, commissioner of the IRS, recently announced the appointment of W. Val Oveson, a member of the AICPA state and local taxation committee, to the enhanced national taxpayer advocate position.
Having the reputation of an innovative and effective administrator, Oveson expects to play a major role on the management team that will push for modernization and customer service improvements at the IRS in accordance with the provisions of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.
Oveson, chairman of the Utah State Tax Commission since 1993 and Utahs former lieutenant governor for two terms, described his new job as being the manager of information between taxpayers and tax legislators.
He said he will focus on three main areas in his new role.
- Listening to taxpayers to determine the areas of tax
administration that cause problems. He will use the IRS Problem
Resolution Program (PRP) to collect anecdotal and statistical
information and rely heavily on the new citizen advocacy panels
(CAP) to gather information.
Another way to get the taxpayers point of view will be communicating with groups that represent tax practitioners such as the AICPA, Oveson said.
- Communicating taxpayers complaints within the IRS and developing solutions to those problems.
- Reporting to Congress on the taxpayer problems found, what the IRS
is doing to correct them and the legislative action needed (if any)
to resolve the problems.
Oveson said that, as the national taxpayer advocate, he will play a big part in reshaping how the IRS deals with taxpayers. The position, formerly called the taxpayer advocate, has had more than a name change, he said. It now has more authority within the IRS, an increased staff allocation and an enhanced reporting relationship to Congress.
The national taxpayer advocate plays a very prominent role in the restructuring movement, Oveson said. The new position will enhance the restructuring and not diminish it.