Tuesday, January 12, 2010

IRS Announces Streamlined and Simplified Notices to Taxpayers

From the IRS Newsroom:

Today, the Internal Revenue Service unveiled its first redesigned notices that are part of an on-going effort to improve the way it corresponds with taxpayers.

The nine new notices are among the first to be reviewed and revised for clarity, effectiveness and efficiency. The agency also will create an office that ensures the effort to improve communications is on-going and permanent.

“One of my priorities is to ensure that we have clear and simple communication with taxpayers. In the past, our notices often looked more like legal documents and not an effort to communicate clearly. The differences between the old and new notices are like night and day. They show the potential of our on-going effort in this area,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.

In July 2008, Shulman appointed the Taxpayer Communications Taskgroup to review IRS correspondence. The task group found that IRS notices have different looks, messages and do not use consistent language. Because of this, some notices are creating unnecessary confusion for taxpayers.

Nine notices will feature the new design format beginning in January. These notices account for approximately 2 million pieces of correspondence with individuals, businesses and exempt organizations. A revised web page is available at www.irs.gov/notices.

The new format includes a plain language explanation of the nature of the correspondence, clearly states what action the taxpayer must take and presents a consistent, clean design. The new format also guides taxpayers to appropriate pages on IRS.gov where they can find accurate and relevant information quickly and easily.

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