Tax Administration:

Selected IRS Forms, Publications, and Notices Could Be Improved

GGD-93-72: Published: Apr 30, 1993. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) assessed the accuracy of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms, publications, and notices; and (2) examined the usefulness of taxpayer assistance telephone numbers that IRS provides on these documents.

GAO found that: (1) the 13 forms and 4 publications reviewed were generally accurate and conformed with IRS guidance; (2) there were some forms and publications that IRS needed to revise to make them easier for taxpayers to understand and use; (3) the reading levels of IRS forms and publications ranged from the sixth to the tenth grade; (4) IRS is studying other factors that contribute to a taxpayer's ability to understand its written material; (5) suggested changes to IRS notices included language clarification and some rearrangement of the tax material presented in the notice; and (6) the forms, publications, and notices that contained taxpayer assistance telephone numbers all correctly referred taxpayers to an IRS unit responsible for answering questions and providing other assistance related to an IRS form or publication.

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