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IRS Announces Initiative to Simplify Notices to Taxpayers

By:
S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jan 24, 2024

The IRS announced a Simple Notice Initiative to simplify and clarify the approximately 170 million letters it sends annually to taxpayers.

These notices cover a range of issues, such as claiming the credits and deductions for which taxpayers are eligible, and  meeting tax obligations. They are often long and difficult for taxpayers to understand, the IRS conceded, and they do not always clearly and concisely communicate the next steps a taxpayer must take.

The Simple Notice Initiative will review and redesign hundreds of notices with an immediate focus on the most common notices that individual taxpayers receive, the IRS said. The redesign work will accelerate during the 2025 and 2026 filing seasons, improving common IRS letters going out to individual taxpayers and then expanding into notices going to businesses.

"Simplifying and clarifying these letters will make it easier for taxpayers to understand the tax issues involved," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. "This will help reduce questions and save headaches for taxpayers, the tax professional community as well as the IRS. Improving these letters is also critical to our internal operations at the IRS, and an important part of our transformation efforts. Clearer letters can create a ripple effect, reducing taxpayer phone calls and visits and freeing up IRS staff to help others."

The Simple Notice Initiative builds on the IRS's continuous effort to improve notices. During the last year, the IRS reviewed and redesigned 31 notices in time for this year's tax season. By filing season 2025, the IRS will review and redesign the most common notices that individual taxpayers receive. In filing season 2026 and beyond, the IRS will review and  redesign notices sent to businesses taxpayers as well as less common notices sent to individual taxpayers.

The Simple Notice Initiative is part of the larger transformation work taking place at the IRS with Inflation Reduction Act funding, the agency noted.

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