A longstanding proposal by Sen. Diane Allen (R- Burlington) to create an office within the state Treasury Department designed to attempt to improve customer service for taxpayers and streamline compliance issues was approved Monday by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee.
The measure (S-1187), establishes the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, a position that would be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate that would bear responsibility for improving taxpayers' experience in dealing with Treasury's Division of Taxation and make recommendations to improve tax law so as to ease compliance problems for businesses and individuals.
"Taxpayers need someone on their side when navigating the complexities of government and the law," Allen said. "This position will be empowered to help individuals and businesses cut through red tape and bureaucratic hurdles when a significant tax problem arises through no fault of his or her own."
Allen said that the taxpayer advocate would be an office in, but not of, the Department of Treasury, that would report directly to the governor. The advocate would be empowered to issue orders to the Division of Taxation and the Department of Revenue to take specific action in order to assist taxpayers who face significant hardship resulting from the administration of tax law.
Significant hardship is defined by the legislation as arising from a deficiency in the law or administrative procedures, rather than personal inconvenience or economic hardship.
—TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM