I feel like my opinion of the Taxpayer Advocate Service is . . . evolving. Not that I ever had anything against Nina Olson personally, I have just always questioned the independence and effectiveness of the organization that sometimes seems like little more than a mini IRS within the IRS. If TIGTA is IRS’ big brother, then TAS is their only child — a chip off the ol’ block. However, the more I see Olson stating an opposing view (opposing the IRS), the more I grow to trust her and recognize the value of TAS in assisting with real tax relief.
In an interview with Bernie Becker of The Hill Nina Olson recently made the following statements describing the natural tension between her agency and the IRS:
You have to get used to the idea that you’re going to walk into a room, no one is going to want to see you there, they are not going to want you to open your mouth. And when you do open your mouth, they’re all going to will you to shut it as soon as possible. Because what you are going to be saying is, basically, pointing out that they didn’t think of something.
Speaking about the IRS’ failure to recognize when their policies are overly burdensome on the average taxpayer, she added:
When they get their mind on something, they just get hell-bent on something — and you could be talking to a tree and it might be more conversational.
I love that quote! Very spunky. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), someone who knows her better than I do, said she is “capable and dogged” and the driving force behind the IRS’ actions. Read full storyhere.
So am I going to stop taking jabs when I see an opportunity? Probably not. Besides, I still think TAS has a long way to go as far as the ideals and advocacy of Olson herself trickling down to the rank and file.