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Teleconference Description

The Tax Section is pleased to present a special 90-minute teleconference featuring Nina Olson, IRS National Taxpayer Advocate, who will discuss the major findings and recommendations from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2007 Annual Report to Congress. Ample time will be provided for Q & A.

Speaker Bio

Nina E. Olson is the National Taxpayer Advocate and serves as an advocate for taxpayers to the IRS and Congress. She leads the Taxpayer Advocate Service, a nationwide organization of approximately 2,000 taxpayer advocates who help U.S. taxpayers resolve problems and work with the IRS to correct systemic and procedural problems.

The National Taxpayer Advocate is required by statute to submit two annual reports to Congress. The first report identifies the objectives of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate. The second report includes a discussion of the top 20 problems that taxpayers face in their dealings with the IRS and makes administrative and legislative recommendations to protect taxpayer rights and mitigate taxpayer problems. The National Taxpayer Advocate is also responsible for oversight of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) program.

Nina’s work as the "voice of the taxpayers" at the IRS has won national acclaim: The non-profit Tax Foundation selected her to receive its Public Sector Distinguished Service Award in 2007.  Accounting Today magazine named her one of its Top 100 Most Influential People in the accounting profession each year since 2004. In January 2005, Money magazine named her one of the 12 "Class Acts of 2004."

Nina is an attorney licensed in Virginia and North Carolina. She was the founder and Executive Director of The Community Tax Law Project, the first independent § 501(c)(3) low income taxpayer clinic in the United States. The Community Tax Law Project provides free legal services to Virginia low income taxpayers in federal, state, and local tax disputes.

Prior to her appointment as the National Taxpayer Advocate in January 2001, Nina maintained a private law practice, concentrating in tax controversy representation. From 1975 until 1991, she owned and operated Accounting, Tax & Information Services, a tax planning and preparation firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Nina served as the chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation’s Low Income Taxpayers Committee as well as the Pro Se/Pro Bono Task Force of the ABA Tax Section’s Court Procedure Committee. Nina is the 1999 recipient of both the Virginia Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award and the City of Richmond Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award.

Nina graduated from Bryn Mawr College cum laude with an A.B. in Fine Arts. She received her J.D. cum laude from North Carolina Central School of Law and her Masters of Law in Taxation, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center. Nina has served as an adjunct professor at several law schools. She is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

About the Taxpayer Advocate Service

For nearly 30 years, beginning with the establishment of the Taxpayer Ombudsman Office in 1979, the IRS has provided Americans with a means for resolving problems with the agency.  The Ombudsman Office was replaced by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate in 1996, and in 1998, Congress renamed the “Taxpayer Advocate” the “National Taxpayer Advocate” and granted the office expanded authority to assist taxpayers.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should.  There is at least one local Taxpayer Advocate -- who is independent of the local IRS office and reports directly to the National Taxpayer Advocate -- in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and each IRS campus.

The National Taxpayer Advocate is appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury following consultation with the IRS Commissioner and the IRS Oversight Board.  By statute, the National Taxpayer Advocate – an independent voice inside the IRS – reports directly to the IRS Commissioner.

Last Wednesday Teleconference: Report of the National Taxpayer Advocate
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