January 11,2005

Statement of U.S. Senator Max Baucus Regarding the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Report to Congress

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Today, U.S. Senator Max Baucus issued the following statementregarding the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Report to Congress. The National TaxpayerAdvocate, Nina Olson, heads the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) within the Internal RevenueService (IRS). TAS is responsible for representing taxpayers whose tax issues have not beenresolved by other channels within the IRS. The law requires the National Taxpayer Advocate toreport annually to Congress on systemic problems encountered by taxpayers in theirdealings with the IRS.

“I applaud the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson, for her report. Her reportdemonstrates the attitude and approach Congress expects from the IRS. The IRS can providequality taxpayer service and balanced tax law enforcement by using research more effectivelyand working with taxpayers to help them resolve their disputes.

“I welcome the Taxpayer Advocate’s recommendations to tackle the $311 billion taxgap. Last July, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on this important issue. The taxgap isn't going to take care of itself. We have to start doing something if we want to eliminatethe tax gap. The staggering loss due to noncompliance is a clear indication that the IRS needsto provide meaningful solutions. The taxpayer advocate's report appears to provide a roadmapfor the IRS to shrink the tax gap.”