IRS and Plain English


Did you know the first thought some taxpayers get when they receive a letter from the IRS stating ‘notice to levy’ is, “Who’s Levy?” They mistakenly think it was wrongly sent to them and call in to the IRS call center to complain. Likewise, according to call center records, a full quarter of the people who received IRS letters in 2007 demanding proof of eligibility for a low-income tax credit didn't realize they were being audited.

These and other instances of miscommunications and misunderstandings have given rise to the need for the Plain Writing Act. Every year, the IRS sends out some 200 million letters to taxpayers. When these letters contain unambiguous and crystal clear sentences, it would reduce the need for taxpayers to call in to the IRS for clarification. Each call costs the IRS about $25 and in 2010, the call center received some 110 million calls.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Darrin Mish, Tampa Tax Attorney, The Law Offices of Darrin Mish, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

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