August 17, 2000
National Taxpayer Advocate
Val Oveson Plans to Leave IRS,
Return to Private Sector
WASHINGTON - Following the successful start-up of the new Taxpayer
Advocate Service, W. Val Oveson plans to step down as National Taxpayer Advocate
this fall and continue his career in the private sector.
Oveson, who was appointed on September 1, 1998, oversaw the transformation of the
National Taxpayer Advocateís office to reflect the expanded powers and responsibilities
granted by Congress in the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act. Following the 1998 law,
the office took on a greater role assisting taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS,
championing taxpayerís rights and providing recommendations for improving tax
"Val spearheaded the effort to build the Taxpayer Advocate Service into a new
organization devoted to helping taxpayers," IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti
said. "Thanks to his leadership, taxpayers have an easier way of resolving problems
they canít fix through normal IRS channels."
"While Valís skills will be missed, he leaves behind an organization ready to play
an active role helping taxpayers in the new, reorganized IRS," Rossotti said.
Oveson plans to return to Utah, where he will pursue private professional
interests. Before arriving in Washington, Oveson held a variety of public and private
sector roles in Utah, including serving as the stateís lieutenant governor and chairman
of the Utah State Tax Commission.
While at the IRS, Oveson oversaw fundamental changes in the National
Taxpayer Advocateís office:
- For the first time, each state has Taxpayer Advocates reporting directly to the
National Taxpayer Advocate. The move to this nationwide network added
more independence. Previously, Taxpayer Advocates reported to District
- This group of 74 Taxpayer Advocates was reorganized as part of the
Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). In all, TAS has more than 2,000
employees, including caseworkers, dedicated to helping taxpayers work out
- The National Taxpayer Advocate also prepares a new, expanded annual
report to Congress. This report fills a unique niche at the IRS. The National
Taxpayer Advocate office prepares its own independent summary of the 20
most serious problems encountered by taxpayers, legislative
recommendations for improvements and assessments of IRS efforts to
improve customer service and reduce taxpayer burden.
For more information about the Taxpayer Advocate Service, visit the IRS web
site at www.irs.ustreas.gov/prod/ind_info/advocate.html. If taxpayers have been
unable to resolve a problem through normal IRS channels, they can contact the
Taxpayer Advocate Serviceís toll-free help line at 1-877-777-4778.
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