Nina Olson serves as an advocate for taxpayers to the IRS and Congress. She leads the National Taxpayer Advocate Service, a nationwide organization of approximately 2,000 taxpayer advocates who help U.S. taxpayers resolve problems and work with the IRS to correct systemic and procedural problems.
Olson’s work as the “voice of the taxpayers” at the IRS has won national acclaim: She is a member of the American College of Tax Counsel, and delivered the group’s prestigious Griswold Lecture in January, 2010. The non-profit Tax Foundation selected her to receive its Public Sector Distinguished Service Award in 2007. Accounting Today magazine named her one of its Top 100 Most Influential People in the accounting profession each year since 2004. In January 2005, Money magazine named her one of the 12 “Class Acts of 2004.”
Olson is an attorney licensed in Virginia and North Carolina. She was the founder and Executive Director of The Community Tax Law Project, the first independent § 501(c)(3) low income taxpayer clinic in the United States. The Community Tax Law Project provides free legal services to Virginia low income taxpayers in federal, state, and local tax disputes.
Prior to her appointment as the NTA in January 2001, Olson maintained a private law practice, concentrating in tax controversy representation. From 1975 until 1991, she owned and operated Accounting, Tax & Information Services, a tax planning and preparation firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Olson served as the chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation’s Low Income Taxpayers Committee as well as the Pro Se/Pro Bono Task Force of the ABA Tax Section’s Court Procedure Committee. Olson is the 1999 recipient of both the Virginia Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award and the City of Richmond Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award.
Olson graduated from Bryn Mawr College cum laude with an A.B. in Fine Arts. She received her J.D. cum laude from North Carolina Central School of Law and her Master’s of Law in Taxation, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center. Olson has served as an adjunct professor at several law schools.