607. Office of the Taxpayer Advocate

The Commissioner of Revenue established the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate to ensure that taxpayer issues and concerns are addressed in a fair and timely manner. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate reports directly to the Commissioner. The Advocate acts as ombudsman, protecting and promoting the rights of the public in all dealings with the Department of Revenue. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is responsible for ensuring that taxpayers are aware of, and afforded, their rights as taxpayers in all communications with DOR. The Advocate is authorized to act on behalf of the Commissioner to resolve taxpayer issues in situations where the Department's practices or procedures may create a significant hardship. The Taxpayer Advocate is empowered to cut through organizational impediments to resolve issues before they become problems. The Advocate's authority is limited to that which is granted to the Commissioner by statute. Please note that the Taxpayer Advocate Office is not the Commissioner's representative for purposes of accepting settlement offers. See Administrative Procedure 628: Resolution of Disputes at the Office of Appeals.

The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is also responsible for assisting the Commissioner in the development of "Best Business Practices" for implementation by the Department. The Office will propose changes to DOR practices and procedures in areas of administration, which have been identified as problematic. The Advocate may also propose legislative remedies to address problems beyond the scope of the Department's administrative authority. The Taxpayer Advocate Office is also charged with the responsibility of recommending change in departmental practices that adversely impact taxpayer ability to have an issue resolved in a proper and timely manner. The goal of the Taxpayer Advocate Office is to work with DOR personnel in recognizing the importance of taxpayer concerns, and to communicate taxpayer rights to the public through departmental publications, Web site applications and outreach seminars.

For more information about the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate please contact:

Office of the Taxpayer Advocate
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 9552
Boston, MA 02114-9552
Telephone: (617) 626-2280
Fax: (617) 626-2299