Dreaded IRS taxpayer notices are getting a makeover
Many of the long and often confusing notices the Internal Revenue Service sends to taxpayers will soon be shorter and simpler, officials said Tuesday.
Why it matters: The IRS sends around 170 million notices to individual taxpayers each year. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the letters "have not been as taxpayer-friendly as they could be."
- "They have been criticized as too long, filled with complex legal jargon and difficult to understand," she added.
What's happening: Ahead of the 2024 tax season, which begins Jan. 29, the IRS announced the Simple Notice Initiative to redesign and simplify hundreds of notices.
- The redesigned notices will be rolled out over several years and are part of ongoing modernization efforts at the IRS that include cutting down on paper correspondence.
What they're saying: "When a letter arrives in the mail from the IRS, we all catch our breath," IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said said in a call with reporters Tuesday. "So given that initial apprehension, it's really important for us to get the information clear and understandable to help taxpayers."
Zoom in: The IRS conducted a pilot on letter 5071C, a notice asking taxpayers to verify their identity because of suspected fraud, Werfel said.
- "As part of the redesign work, the IRS shortened the letter from seven pages to two pages," Werfel said.
- The bulk of the redesigned notices won't start going out to taxpayers until next year for the 2025 tax filing season, Werfel said.
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