IRS Announces Simple Notice Initiative; Boy, Is It Needed

Clients of ours received an IRS CP2000 alleging they owed additional tax.  The clients called us, and we reviewed their return; it turns out that the items the IRS thought weren’t included on their return were included (so we believe no tax is owed). We sent a response in early December.

Last week our clients received a response (we were supposed to have been copied, but we weren’t):

Our clients were perplexed by the response. Frankly, the following paragraph would perplex anyone:

Before we can resolve this matter, we need information from , and we haven’t received it yet. You should receive our complete response within   days. We don’t need any further information from you right now.

Most likely, this paragraph wasn’t supposed to be included (and only the previous paragraph noting that we’d receive another response within 90 days should have been included).  If you think this is a one-off, it’s not; a second client (who responded to an IRS notice on her own) received the identical response.

About an hour after the phone call I received an email from the IRS noting, “IRS launches Simple Notice Initiative resdesign effort.”  That’s needed, along with someone proofreading notices and responses before sending them.  The IRS is promising to redesign “up to 200 notices that make up about 90% of total notice volume sent to individual taxpayers.”  We shall see.

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