Skip to main content

In a groundbreaking move, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) introduced the Simple Notice initiative, a significant step in its ongoing efforts to modernize and simplify tax processes. The initiative, backed by a substantial funding injection from the Inflation Reduction Act, focuses on reviewing, redesigning, and deploying hundreds of tax notices, emphasizing those commonly received by individual taxpayers.

As part of this initiative, the IRS has already revamped 31 notices over the past year, ensuring they are ready for the upcoming 2024 tax filing season. These include notices tailored to individuals who served in combat zones, reminders about unfiled returns, and notifications regarding outstanding balances and available support. Impressively, these redesigned notices aim to enhance clarity and comprehension for the 20 million recipients in 2022 out of the typical 170 million annual mailings.

Looking ahead to the 2025 tax season, the IRS plans to tackle up to 200 notices, constituting 90% of the total volume sent to individual taxpayers (approximately 150 million notices in 2022). These notices cover various topics, from proposed adjustments to a taxpayer’s income, payments, credits, and deductions to reminders about taxes owed and corrections to errors on tax returns.

Commissioner Danny Werfel expressed the importance of simplifying and clarifying these notices: “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.”

Crucially, the IRS actively seeks input from taxpayers and the tax professional community on the redesign process. The goal is to make these notices more accessible and easier to understand, ultimately reducing confusion and minimizing the need for additional inquiries.

To further streamline communication, the IRS has been exploring ways to encourage online responses to notices, eliminating the need for time-consuming phone calls. A recent pilot test involved the redesign of Notice 5071C, focusing on identity verification and tax return confirmation. The revamped notice, condensed from seven to two pages, boasts improved readability with updated fonts, headers, icons, and step-by-step instructions. A QR code has also been added, guiding taxpayers directly to the page for online responses, further enhancing the overall user experience.

This innovative approach signifies a significant leap forward in the IRS’s commitment to modernization and user-centric design, promising a more straightforward and efficient tax experience for millions of Americans in the years to come.

Source ( Accounting Today News).