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House Panel Probes IRS on Postcard-Size 1040's Usability

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., wants IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to answer questions about the new “postcard” size Form 1040 after Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, told lawmakers the form is creating challenges for taxpayers.

Neal, along with Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis, D-Ga., asked Rettig in a recent letter to provide information related to any third-party analysis that was conducted on the usability of the new individual income tax return and its six schedules.

The new tax law required the IRS to produce a “dramatically simplified,” postcard-sized Form 1040.

Neal and Lewis want to “better understand the full extent of any due diligence done on the usability of the postcard by taxpayers,” specifically by third parties.

Olsen’s Feb. 12 report to Congress stated that “the new schedules will force some taxpayers to cross-reference and transfer data such as credits, deductions and income increasing the potential for errors to occur since the tax information is dispersed over many pages and needs to be tracked down and reported in different schedules and forms.”

The lawmakers want information from the IRS by Wednesday on the following: • Verbatim copies of notes taken by outside observers who watched taxpayers work through the new forms; • The written description of all findings or results given to the IRS by a third party with respect to the usability of the forms; • A description of what was done with the findings or results upon receipt; and • An explanation for why any and all third-party results were not shared with the public.

— Check out Postcard Premiere of IRS Form 1040: Bloink & Byrnes Go Thumb to Thumb on ThinkAdvisor.


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