updated 12:49 AM CEST, Jun 18, 2021

Deadline to apply for Taxpayer Advocacy Panel's only expat rep seat extended

TAP recruitment video image, showing where its 75 members come from TAP recruitment video image, showing where its 75 members come from

The Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for those interested in applying for the soon-to-be-vacated international seat on its Taxpayer Advocacy Panel.

The deadline had originally been May 14 (today), but it has now been moved to June 1, the IRS said yesterday.

Laura Snyder croppedApplications for the three-year role, which doesn't pay a salary – although expenses are reimbursed – may be submitted online at www.improveirs.org. A video explaining what TAP is and how it is set up to  identify major taxpayer concerns and make recommendations for improving the IRS's products and services may be viewed by clicking here.

The TAP expat seat is currently held by Paris-based expat Laura Snyder, pictured left. As she told the American Expat Financial News Journal last month, the recruitment process can be lengthy. 

"In terms of commitment, [the role requires] about 200 to 500 hours of a person's time a year, in order for them to be effective in the role," Dr. Snyder, who has herself been living abroad since 1995, adds.

She says the fact that expenses are reimbursed will mean something once the body returns to holding its annual two-and-a-half day face-to-face meeting, which most recently was held online.

According to its appropriately-named website – ImproveIRS.org – The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is a "Federal Advisory Committee" which exists "to listen to taxpayers, identify taxpayers' issues, and make suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction."

It's comprised of around 75 members who volunteer to serve for three years, and who, in addition to the sole overseas' representative, represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

More information and registration details may be found by clicking here.

Third 'int'l taxpayer TAP member'

In an article she wrote for the AXFNJ  during her first year in the role, Dr. Snyder said that she believed herself to be only the third TAP member to represent “international taxpayers.”

"There are no special educational or professional requirements to be a TAP member," she added.

"It's not even necessary to be a tax professional of any kind – though some members are.

"All that is required is that one be a U.S. citizen, be up-to-date personally with one's own federal tax obligations, be able to pass a fingerprint and background check, and not be a federally-registered lobbyist."

Dr. Snyder then explained the two principal activities the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel carries out – collecting and examining taxpayer suggestions, and coming up with recommendations based on these that are then submitted to the IRS, in addition to reaching out to members of the U.S. tax-paying public in their constituencies.

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