SS HB 384, 2015 (New Section - Proposed Language)
37.650. 1. There is hereby established within the department of revenue the "Office of Taxpayer Advocate", for the purpose of providing independent assistance to taxpayers.
2. The office shall be administered by the taxpayer advocate, who shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. The taxpayer advocate shall hold office for a term of six years and shall continue to hold office until a successor has been duly appointed. The advocate shall act independently of the department of revenue in the performance of his or her duties. The department of revenue shall provide administrative support and staff as deemed necessary.
3. The office shall have the authority:
(1) To communicate with any taxpayer regarding any tax issues that the taxpayer is experiencing;
(2) To communicate with any employees of the department of revenue regarding a taxpayer's tax issues; and
(3) To have access to any records held by any department or agency regarding a taxpayer's tax issues.
4. For any information obtained from a state agency or entity under this section, the office of taxpayer advocate shall be subject to the same disclosure restrictions and confidentiality requirements that apply to the state agency or entity providing such information to the office of taxpayer advocate. For information obtained directly by the office of taxpayer advocate under this section, the office of taxpayer advocate shall be subject to the same disclosure restrictions and confidentiality requirements that apply to the department of revenue.
5. The office shall annually submit to the governor and the general assembly a detailed report on the work of the office of the taxpayer advocate. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, the number of taxpayer cases handled by the office and the disposition of such cases. The report shall also include any recommendation for changes in tax laws or the operation of the department of revenue. The report filed by the office shall not be subject to review by any executive branch official.