This article reviews the 18-year tenure of the just-retired National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson, and her successes and challenges in building the post into a key role in tax administration through casework, systemic advocacy, and detailed reports to Congress.
The critical appreciation traces the evolution of the role of taxpayer advocate while describing her tireless efforts, zealous style, and distinctive personality. It also highlights her signature issues: increased emphasis on taxpayer rights, strengthened regulation of tax return preparers, and concern for low-income taxpayers who need more personal attention than a modernized, automated IRS provides. Finally, it evaluates her legacy while noting the qualities that officials should seek in a successor.
This article was originally published by Tax Analysts on August 12, 2019.