In partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS), the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) held an outreach event at the Second Annual Community Services Day. The event highlighted several community and civic businesses that provide social services, education, as well as health support and alternatives to the surrounding areas. While this year’s event was geared to school kids, there was a diverse mix of patrons who came out to the event. Several taxpayers came by the TAP table to explore and learn more about TAP and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. We also helped direct taxpayers in need to engage with the Taxpayer Advocacy Service (TAS) by giving out Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Assistance. TAP Member Donna Patterson also educated a few high school students about what to do when they get their first jobs and informed the parents how they can get more tax information through the Improveirs.org and IRS.gov websites.
After sharing some of the big wins for TAP this year such as IRS implementing a callback feature for our international taxpayers, TAP also received 15 recommendations to improve the IRS during the outreach event, ten of which turned into actual proposals submitted to the IRS by TAP. A few of the ideas we received were on updating the IRS technology, questions about the Form 1099-K process changes, and concerns about getting information about past tax refunds. There was an opportunity to engage with other service providers in the community to leverage the learnings in future events.
On a local front, the Washington Working Family Tax Credit Coalition team was there to educate all on the tax credit and listen to issues taxpayers experienced in the first year. Although the State of Washington does not have a state income tax, last year there was an introduction of the Washington Working Family tax credit that has similar income limits as the Earned Income Tax Credit. TAP Member Patterson was able to share information about how the e-filing of this state credit was tied to the federal filing process (paper versus e-file).
Overall, it was a wonderful day engaging with the Seattle community.