Seeing is Believing: The Taxpayer Advocate Taxpayer Roadmap

tax systemIf you owe money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and do not know which way to turn, fear not. There is a map for that.


In 2019, National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Nina Olsen released a new “subway map” that literally illustrates the path a taxpayer might take through the U.S. tax system. Intended for consumers, legislators, and anyone interested in the tax system, the map is an eye-opener.


Our law firm helps entities, individuals, and enterprises navigate the U.S. tax system. We represent clients in the circuitous regulatory atmosphere of the IRS while helping them meet the challenges of a civil or criminal tax audit, allegations of tax fraud, or other matters of tax litigation. If you take one look at the map, it is easy to see why dealing with the IRS can be difficult on any count.


Building on earlier efforts, the map is the first to offer an extensive illustration of the journey a taxpayer might take through the tax system. Noted Ms. Olsen, who was the NTA from 2001 to 2019, “I personally have spent dozens of hours designing and preparing this map, as have many members of my staff.”


At a glance, the map—and the tax system—is daunting, to say the least. As accurately stated by Ms. Olsen, “Anyone looking at this map will understand that we have an incredibly complex tax system that is almost impossible for the average taxpayer to navigate."


On second approach, the interactive version of the map on the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) website provides search options that include a fillable box where an IRS notice number can be entered. The map then directs the user to the detailed area of the map to which the notice applies. Viewers can also drill down into six detailed sections including:

  • Appeals
  • Collection
  • Exam
  • Litigation
  • Tax Return Preparation
  • Tax Return Processing


A tool sidebar provides an easy-to-read map key, tax definitions, and access to information about an IRS notice you may have received.


As a resource to taxpayers, Ms. Olsen made her point clear when she said, “It is my firm belief that taxpayers must have knowledge about their rights within a bureaucracy as complex as the IRS. If only taxpayers who are represented by tax professionals have access to that knowledge, then we do not have a fair and just tax system. Thus, the digital roadmap will be a powerful tool to improve access to justice."


Experienced tax law firm in Chicago and Cleveland helps you with compliance and tax litigation

The tax group at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC responds quickly and strategically to clients facing collection, tax litigation, or arrest. We represent local and international clients from offices in Chicago and Cleveland. Call 800-579-0997 or reach out to us today.


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