IRS has started simplifying millions of complicated taxpayer notices ahead of the filing season


U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 357 union corridor in Las Vegas on Aug. 14, 2023.

Ronda Churchill | Bloomberg | Getty Images

With the opening of tax season solely days away, the IRS has unveiled a plan to simplify the millions of complicated notices despatched to taxpayers yearly.

As half of the company’s multibillion-dollar modernization efforts, the IRS has started to assessment and redesign lots of of IRS notices — corresponding to letters about unfiled returns, taxes owed or filing errors — aiming to assist resolve points sooner and increase compliance.

“Redesigned notices will likely be shorter, clearer and simpler to grasp,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen mentioned throughout a press name Tuesday. “Taxpayers will see the distinction after they open the mail and after they log into their on-line accounts.”

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Known as the “Simple Notice Initiative,” the program will finally cowl the roughly 170 million notices despatched to taxpayers yearly, in keeping with the IRS.

The IRS has already redesigned 31 notices ahead of the 2024 filing season. Roughly 20 million revised notices have been despatched throughout the 2022 calendar 12 months, it stories. The company goals to “assessment, redesign, and deploy” the majority of IRS letters acquired by taxpayers by 2025.

The program builds on the company’s paperless processing initiative introduced in August, which now permits taxpayers to reply to IRS notices on-line.

“The subsequent step is to make these notices simply comprehensible,” Yellen mentioned.

IRS notices want ‘plain language’

While the company has dramatically improved taxpayer service since the pandemic, there may be nonetheless room for improvement, in keeping with the National Taxpayer Advocate’s annual report to Congress launched earlier in January.

Werfel mentioned clearer notices will even enhance taxpayer compliance and herald uncollected tax income by serving to filers higher perceive how a lot they owe.

The Simple Notice Initiative comes amid continued scrutiny of the IRS and billions of {dollars} of funding authorised by Congress over the subsequent decade. Part of the enhanced price range was already rescinded throughout spending negotiations in 2023.

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