Final Tax Chat! on Race & Tax Administration

Dear Friends,

We are coming up on two very exciting events at the Center for Taxpayer Rights and I encourage you to sign up for them.

The fourth and final Tax Chat! in our free series on Race and Tax Administration is taking place next Tuesday, May 28, from noon to 1:30pm EDT.  The topic this week is Disparity in Real & “Non-Real” Audits: How to reduce racial disparity while promoting effective tax administration.  Yes, that title is a mouthful but it accurately describes what we will be discussing.

Our guests include Hadi Elzayn, one of the Stanford researchers who worked on the recent IRS-Stanford study that found Black taxpayers are audited at 2.9 to 4.7 times the rate of non-Black taxpayers. The research highlights that despite ostensible race neutral audit selection criteria, IRS audit policies can exacerbate racial inequality. We will also hear from Lotta Bjorklund Larsen, an anthropologist who, on behalf of the Center for Taxpayer Rights, conducted ethnographic interviews with taxpayers represented by Low Income Taxpayer Clinics in audits.  And finally, we will hear from Jeff Pillarz of Russell Research, who will dicuss the results of a 2024 nationwide survey of low income households with children about their experiences and attitudes with the IRS and the tax system., which was conducted on behalf of the Center.  Les Book of Villanova will moderate the panel and I will be participating in order to set the stage for all this research and comment on the Center’s work in this area.

If you haven’t yet registered for this free Tax Chat! series, you can do so at https://taxpayer-rights.org/transforming-tax-admin-race-equity/.  You can also watch previous episodes of the Tax Chats! in the series and access related materials at https://taxpayer-rights.org/transforming-tax-administration-race-equity-materials/.  These are really important and thought-provoking Chat! so I encourage you to watch them.

And of course, we are less than two weeks away from the start of the 9th International Conference on Taxpayer Rights, Toward a Digital Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  We have held all the preparatory calls for each of the panels for this conference, and I have to say, it is going to be a great conference. 

Yes, that smacks of hubris, but the folks who are going to be presenters are all so knowledgeable and thoughtful, and they come from different disciplines and components of the tax “ecosystem.”  So we are bringing together a number of perspectives to address the question of what should Taxpayer Rights be in the context of a digitalized tax system.  In fact, we intend to develop and publish specific recommendations as an outcome of this conference. 

So if you want to be involved in this discussion, I really encourage you to register.  While the conference will be held live and in-person at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, it will also be live-streamed via Zoom, and registration for the live-stream is at an extremely modest rate for a 2 ½ day conference ($100 USD for attendees from OECD countries; $75 USD for attendees from non-OECD countries).  For those of you in time zones that don’t exactly line up with the conference live schedule, we are posting the “raw” videos of each day’s sessions by the end of each day, so you will be able to watch them before the next day begins. 

You can learn more about the conference and register at https://taxpayer-rights.org/9th-ictr-registration/.

All the best,

Nina

Nina E. Olson
Executive Director