Every year the Taxpayer Advocate Panel (TAP) makes hundreds of recommendations to improve IRS customer service. As the 2023 TAP year begins, the TAP members want to update taxpayers on a recent project success.
This success story highlights two TAP recommendations the IRS is adopting that will help connect taxpayers to important information they need to know about refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Refundable tax credits can reduce the amount of tax a taxpayer owes and claiming certain credits on a tax return may get a taxpayer a larger refund.
The EITC, for example, is one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the U.S., and according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2022 Annual Report to Congress, over 26 million low-and middle-class taxpayers received EITC benefits in tax year 2019. This helps to illustrate how important refundable credits can be for some taxpayers, and why it is crucial the IRS properly educates taxpayers about these credits.
Taxpayer Education to Understand Refundable Credits
The IRS requested TAP’s Taxpayer Communication Committee (TCC) review information on IRS.gov and provide recommendations about ways the IRS can improve taxpayer awareness and understanding of refundable credits. The TCC addressed whether the educational material on IRS.gov improves accuracy and awareness of refundable credits and explored other ways to increase taxpayers’ awareness of the qualification requirements for refundable credits.
The following recommendations were adopted by the IRS:
The TCC recommended the IRS should place information about refundable credits as a notice in taxpayer’s Online Account with links to the refundable credits section of the IRS website.
- The IRS agreed to add a link with refundable credit education to IRS.gov as well as add related content sections that includes the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the EITC interactive assistant tool.
- The IRS also responded favorably to adding similar information to the taxpayer Online Account page. This included giving taxpayers a message about refundable credits when they access their online account as well as added links to the IRS website directing taxpayers to get more information.
The committee is hopeful that the incorporation of the suggested changes will ease taxpayer burden and help taxpayers become more informed. For more information about refundable credits visit the EITC page or Credits and Deductions page on IRS.gov, and check out the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Get Help page on credits.
About the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
TAP is a Federal Advisory Committee of citizen volunteers who listen to taxpayer concerns, identify taxpayers’ issues, and make suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction. TAP is a demographically and geographically diverse group with balanced representation from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and at least one-member living, working, or doing business abroad. TAP works with TAS and the IRS to identify issues that will benefit from citizen input.
If you have suggestions for improving IRS processes and customer service, reach out and let us know. We take all comments seriously and will discuss them at a future TAP meeting. You can also make a difference by becoming a TAP member. Join us and help TAP do more great work on behalf of the taxpayers in your community.