Yesterday the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that Erin M. Collins has been appointed National Taxpayer Advocate. Collins succeeds Nina E. Olson, who served as the as National Taxpayer Advocate from 2001 until her retirement last summer. The full text of the press release follows:
Washington – Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the appointment of Erin M. Collins to serve as the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA).
“Erin Collins will be an outstanding voice for American taxpayers,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “She has a wealth of experience representing a broad range of taxpayers before the IRS. She also developed valuable expertise during her years with the Office of Chief Counsel. Erin is the ideal candidate to help the IRS modernize and improve service for American families and businesses.”
“I am deeply honored to join the talented team at the IRS as the National Taxpayer Advocate and thank Secretary Mnuchin and Commissioner Rettig for the trust they have placed in me,” said Ms. Collins. “I will work every day to be a strong and effective representative of American taxpayers.”
“I look forward to working with Erin to improve the IRS for the benefit of all Americans and know that she will serve our nation with distinction,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “I appreciate and respect the efforts of former NTA, Nina Olson and everyone within the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). Our TAS employees are exemplary, and it’s clear they care deeply and passionately about serving taxpayers and our country. We are extremely thankful to Bridget Roberts for continuing the important work of the TAS organization during this period, which is a great testament to Bridget, the entire TAS team and the rest of the IRS who supported them.”
Ms. Collins’ extensive background in the tax community includes twenty years as a Managing Director of KPMG’s Tax Controversy Services practice for the Western Area. Prior to that, she was an attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for the IRS for 15 years. Throughout her career, she represented individuals, partnerships and corporate taxpayers on technical and procedural tax matters, and has also provided pro bono services to taxpayers to resolve disputes with the IRS.
For the past decade, Ms. Collins has dedicated significant time and energy to inspire professional women to work with teen girls from under resourced communities through after-school and weekend mentorship programs. The programs focus on helping the girls fulfill their potential by empowering them to build confidence to pursue higher education and professional careers. She also donated her time to non-profit boards focusing on underserved communities where English is typically the second language spoken at home.
The NTA is the “voice” of the taxpayer and serves as a senior advisor to the Commissioner on issues affecting the United States’ 153 million individual and 11 million business taxpayers. The office of the NTA is charged with helping to improve the focus of the IRS to emphasize helping taxpayers comply with their legal responsibilities. The office also assists taxpayers, individually and collectively, in resolving issues with the IRS and in proposing changes to the administrative practices of the IRS. The NTA reports directly to the Commissioner and also reports to Congress on areas of the tax law that impose significant burdens on taxpayers or the IRS, including recommending potential legislative changes. Importantly, the NTA is a member of the team charged with helping to modernize the IRS and contributing to its strategic management.