The Internal Revenue Service reports Erin M. Collins started her term as the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) on Monday, March 30, and lead the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS.
The Advocate is a critical position inside the IRS, leading the Taxpayer Advocate Service and serving as a voice for taxpayers inside the IRS as well as being a senior adviser to IRS leadership, according to an IRS news release. The NTA also reports to Congress on areas of the tax law that impose significant burdens on taxpayers or the IRS, including recommending potential legislative changes.
“Collins is an excellent choice for this key position because she is familiar with tax issues from inside and outside the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig in a news release. “The IRS leadership team and I look forward to a meaningful, productive working relationship with Collins and the Taxpayer Advocate Service to help improve our tax system for everyone.”
“I will be starting my position as the National Taxpayer Advocate earlier than originally planned due to the recent national emergency,” Collins said in the news release. “I can’t imagine a more critical time to lead the Taxpayer Advocate Service and to help the nation’s taxpayers during this time.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appointed Collins on Feb. 27, 2020, to replace Nina Olson, who left the office in July 2019 after serving more than 18 years.
“We are extremely thankful to Bridget Roberts for her efforts while serving as Acting Advocate following Nina Olson’s many years of service and leadership,” Rettig said in the news release.
Rettig added that he appreciated the work of Roberts and the TAS team, which has been working closely with IRS leadership on numerous issues related to COVID-19, including help for taxpayers in the new People First Initiative.
Roberts will resume her permanent role as the Deputy National Taxpayer Advocate.
Collins has extensive background in the tax community including 20 years as a Managing Director of KPMG’s Tax Controversy Services practice for the Western Area. Before that, she was an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel for 15 years. Throughout her career, she represented individuals, partnerships and corporate taxpayers on technical and procedural tax matters. Collins has also provided pro bono services to taxpayers to resolve disputes with the IRS. Collins also donated her time to non-profit boards focusing on underserved communities where English is typically not the primary language spoken at home, the news release added.
“Her interests fit in perfectly with the priorities of the Taxpayer Advocate Service, specifically, and the IRS, more generally,” Rettig said.
TAS helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. TAS has at least one local taxpayer advocate office in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. TAS helps taxpayers who need assistance resolving an IRS problem, if their problem is causing financial difficulty, or if they believe an IRS system or procedure isn’t working as it should. Taxpayers can call their local advocate; whose number is in their local directory. Visit the TAS website to learn more about TAS and how it can help, the news release stated.