This bill establishes office of Taxpayer Advocate in Department of Revenue. Establishes functions, powers and duties of office including authority to order DOR to cease action or refrain from additional action based on the TA’s determination of significant hardship over policy or procedure.
The office of the Taxpayer Advocate is a new office within DOR and DOR will require a General Fund appropriation to prop up the office. DOR estimates the fiscal impact of this measure to be $571,682 total funds, including $371,593 General Fund, and 3 positions (2.33 FTE) for the 2021-23 biennium and $758,937 total funds, including $493,310 General Fund, and 3 positions (3.00 FTE) for the 2023-25 biennium.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides a Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) to taxpayers. The TAS is an independent organization within the IRS and serves as the taxpayer’s voice within the IRS. The TAS helps taxpayers with problems that may not have been resolved through normal IRS channels or in cases where the taxpayer believes the IRS procedure is not working as designed. This bill establishes a similar office for taxpayer resources within Oregon. Orders issued by the TA may require DOR to cease action or refrain from additional action based on the TA’s determination of significant hardship. Limits orders to only providing relief related to DOR policies and procedures and may not address the merits of a taxpayer’s tax liability or substitute for informal conference procedures or normal administrative or judicial proceedings for the review of a tax assessment, refund denial, collection action or other department action. In other words, this is half million to make sure policies and procedures are being followed. Isn’t that the job of the supervisor? Without saying, the advocate is to make sure no racism is causing unequal treatment. Reporting on operational issues or other barriers that office staff perceive as preventing equitable and fair collection of taxes.