Improving taxpayer protection and assistance
"I have made it my responsibility to protect taxpayers and to help them by making the tax code fairer and less complex."

Senator Akaka represents the interests of low-income and hardworking taxpayers and those who are unfamiliar with the tax code.  In addition to advocating for enhanced taxpayer awareness, education, and protection initiatives, he supports efforts to increase the fairness of and compliance with the tax code.

ies and Recent Accomplishments

Tax Policy and Reform.  Senator Akaka has staunchly opposed irresponsible fiscal policy that provides unnecessary upper-income tax breaks, increases budget deficits, and adds to the national debt.  However, recognizing the once-in-a-generation economic conditions that we face, he voted to temporarily extend the sizeable tax cuts that were enacted during the George W. Bush administration.  The temporary extension protects against the risk of impeding economic recovery through tax changes, facilitates economic growth by providing short- and medium-term tax certainty, and preserves future opportunities to make legislative changes to restore tax fairness and fiscal responsibility.

The Senate will return to the tax policy debate as the latest temporary extension expires and changes to the tax code are considered.  Senator Akaka's focus during these efforts will be to bring about changes that provide clear and effective relief for low- and moderate-income taxpayers who would most benefit from a less complex and more fair tax system.

Protecting Low-Income Taxpayers.  Senator Akaka has developed the Taxpayer Abuse Prevention Act, which is intended to protect low-income families and the benefits they receive through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  The Senator's legislation would make it more difficult for predatory lenders to prey on the hard-earned and much-needed tax benefits of EITC recipients.  

Low-income taxpayers notched a great victory in 2010 when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the elimination of its Debt Indicator program.  The elimination of the Debt Indicator was originally proposed by Senator Akaka as a provision in earlier versions of the Taxpayer Abuse Prevention Act.  The Debt Indicator shared personal information with tax preparers and financial institutions and was often used to facilitate high-cost refund anticipation loans.  

Making Tax Filing Easier.  Senator Akaka also pushed for a streamlined  tax filing process.  He crafted the Free Internet Filing Act, which would allow taxpayers to file their income tax returns for free directly through the IRS website.  Since then, taxpayer access to free online tax filing services through the IRS website and through third-party members of the IRS Free File Alliance have both expanded.  Senator Akaka continues to advocate for more simple and affordable tax filing options and greater resources for taxpayer education, outreach, and assistance programs.  

Additional Information

The Internal Revenue Service:

Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommends changes to the IRS that will prevent problems encountered by taxpayers.  The Taxpayer Advocate Service offers free, independent, and confidential tax assistance to taxpayers unable to resolve their tax problems through normal channels or individuals experiencing a hardship.  More information about the Taxpayer Advocate Service is available online.  (LINK)

The Local Taxpayer Advocate in Hawaii & Pacific US Territories (Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands) can be reached at:

1099 Alakea Street, Floor 22, MS H2200
Honolulu, HI 96813-4514
Phone:  808-566-2950
Fax:  808-566-2986

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITCs) represent low income taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service in audit, appeals, and collection issues, for free or for a nominal charge.  There are two LITCs in Hawaii.

1. Community Tax Education & Tax Assistance LITC (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Phone:  808-839-5200 or 808-528-7046
Languages served:  Chuukese, English, Filipino, Hawaiian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marshallese, Samoan, and Vietnamese

2. Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Phone:  800-499-4302 or 808-527-8050
Languages served:  English, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income (generally, $49,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country.  There are VITA sites on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island.  A full list of VITA sites is available here:  (LINK).

The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) is a Federal Advisory Committee made up of volunteers representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  Based on feedback from the public, TAP members are dedicated to helping taxpayers improve IRS customer service and responsiveness to taxpayer needs.  For more information, please visit:

Constituent Services

  • Washington D.C. Office
  • Honolulu Office
  • Hilo Office

United States Senate

141 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Telephone: (202) 224-6361

Fax: (202) 224-2126


Honolulu Office

300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 3-106

Box 50144

Honolulu, HI 96850

Telephone: (808) 522-8970

Fax: (808) 545-4683


Hilo Office

101 Aupuni Street, Suite 213

Hilo, HI 96720

Telephone: (808) 935-1114

Fax: (808) 935-9064