November 9, 2023 – National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins Receives Prestigious Award for Lifetime Achievement in Tax
National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins Receives Prestigious Award for Lifetime Achievement in Tax
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is pleased to announce that the California Lawyers Association Taxation Section has selected National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins to receive its prestigious Joanne M. Garvey Award. The award honors and recognizes Collins’ distinguished career and notable contributions in the field of tax law.
Collins has 38 years of experience in tax law, spanning 15 years in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, 20 years at the accounting firm of KPMG LLP, and over three years as the National Taxpayer Advocate. At KPMG, she represented thousands of individuals, partnerships, small companies, and corporate taxpayers on technical and procedural tax matters. Throughout her career, Collins represented clients in federal examinations, in IRS appeals, and before the U.S. Tax Court on domestic and international tax issues. Together with her husband, she co-authored the Practising Law Institute’s IRS Practice and Procedure Deskbook, and has spoken frequently on IRS practice, procedure, controversy, and litigation matters before many professional organizations.
“I am humbled and grateful to be selected for the Joanne M. Garvey Award,” Collins said. “Serving as the National Taxpayer Advocate is an honor and the icing on the cake to my 35 years of experience as an IRS Counsel attorney and representative of clients. I am proud to work on the behalf of taxpayers with my team at TAS and my colleagues at the IRS to find solutions that protect taxpayers’ rights, minimize the burdens of overly complex tax laws, and strive to make our tax system work better for everyone.”
The Joanne M. Garvey Award is one of three awards presented each year during the California Tax Bar & California Tax Policy Conference. It honors the legacy of Joanne M. Garvey, who was a loved and respected California tax attorney and founder of the California Lawyers Association Taxation Section. Collins received the award in Palm Springs, California, on November 2, in the company of friends, family, and longtime colleagues, including her husband, Edward Robbins, who added a special, personal touch by introducing her during the presentation.
Other notable figures in the tax world shared words of commendation for Erin’s exceptional contributions to the field of tax law, including Senators Ron Wyden and Mike Crapo, who head up the Senate Finance Committee, and current and former colleagues including Deputy National Taxpayer Advocate Kim Stewart. In preparation for the ceremony, they shared stories and comments about Collins’ “incredible people skills, her ability to work with diverse groups to achieve consensus and find solutions to complex problems that seem unsolvable” and praised her for the “common-sense recommendations” for which she has advocated to improve the tax system.
They noted that “her insights are always sound, and she can see around corners like no other,” as well as “Erin will not back away from the tough issues, and when change is needed, ‘no’ is not an appropriate response. No is just the excuse Erin needs to go off road, off script to get things done.”
They also recognized that “her employees follow her with pride and admiration,” saying she is a “role model” for how to serve and lead and emphasizing that Collins is known for “demonstrating a willingness to be transparent, possessing an openness to people’s perspective, all the while exhibiting her humility and her desire to help.” All characteristics that one respondent said “make Erin more than good – it makes her great”.
Before joining TAS, Collins represented several clients pro bono to help them resolve issues with the IRS. She was also a volunteer and board member of a non-profit organization, Step Up, whose mission was to help girls in under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women.
For more information about the Joanne M. Garvey Award, visit the California Lawyers Association website.
You can read or listen to Collins’ insights about important tax topics in her NTA Blog. Subscribe to the NTA Blog to stay informed about the latest tax news.