Ask the Advocate
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate Role
As the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate, I continue to be pro-active, visible, and accessible to taxpayers. I maintain constant interaction with the tax practitioner community and with taxpayers through the many presentations I participate in. My presentations are to a variety of tax practitioner, community, and government groups throughout California. Meeting with these groups and the taxpayers has allowed me to hear firsthand what issues, concerns, and challenges taxpayers are facing, and the impact that tax legislation has had on them. More importantly, I hear about the effects our policies, processes, and procedures have on taxpayers.
My goal is to ensure that taxpayers’ rights are protected. One of my responsibilities is to improve the communication and services that we provide. I coordinate the resolution of taxpayer complaints and problems, including complaints regarding unsatisfactory treatment by our employees.
Early this year, my staff worked on the development of SIMS, a web-based application where taxpayers and tax practitioners can provide comments on our processes, procedures, laws, and legislation that create a burden for taxpayers. This system allows us to keep track and identify systemic problems and recommend solutions.
Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate