GAO Reports  
GGD-95-34 December 07, 1994

Tax Administration: IRS Efforts to Improve Forms & Publications

Providing taxpayers with easy-to-read forms and publications is a difficult task. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must strike a balance between the need for these documents to reflect a highly complex tax code and the need to make these documents understandable and easy-to-read. Although it faces many challenges in developing and revising forms and publications, IRS has instituted a process for doing so that includes reasonable components and is seeking ways to further improve it. IRS has begun a dialogue with groups representing tax professionals, but it has had problems in identifying and responding to the needs of individual taxpayers who are not represented by any professional organization. Because clear and understandable forms help to promote voluntary compliance, readability is a continuous concern. Thus, IRS should continue to seek ways to identify what individual taxpayers find most difficult to understand. IRS should also explore the use of potentially useful, but untapped, sources of information that may reveal points of taxpayer confusion and use existing information in new ways.

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