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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > IRS

Spurned Lawmakers Press IRS Again on Form 1040 Usability Data

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., continues to press IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to answer questions about the usability of the new “postcard” size Form 1040 after the IRS refused to comply with a Feb. 27 deadline.

Neal, along with Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis, D-Ga., recently sent a follow-up letter, reiterating their request for 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 letter also requests information as to why the IRS removed references to the “Form 1040 Usability” survey from the IRS website after the lawmakers’ first letter was sent to Rettig on Feb. 14.

Neal and Lewis’ first letter cited comments made by Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, that the postcard-size form is creating challenges for taxpayers.

As of Feb. 14, the IRS website listed on the “Customer Satisfaction Surveys” page the existence of a “Form 1040 Usability” survey with an end date of Dec. 31, 2018.

The vendor listed for the survey was Mitre Corp., a federally funded research and development center. However, that information was removed from the IRS website.

Mitre’s website, however, still contains a page titled “MITRE 1040 Form Research Study” that was used to determine the eligibility of potential participants in the study.

The IRS website now lists a “Form W-4 study” requested by the IRS’ Wage and Investment Division with an end date of March 31.

Along with questions from the first request, Neal and Lewis asked Rettig to answer by Thursday why the “Form 1040 Usability” survey was removed from the IRS website and the names of those who approved the removal, including any Treasury officials.

Olson is set also to testify Thursday before the committee.


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