Tax Returns Too Complex for IRS Commissioner

January 14, 2010 Taxation in USA

Flat Tax ProposalDoug Shulman, US Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Commissioner, has admitted that he uses a tax consultant to prepare his annual tax returns, as he finds the tax system too complicated.

In a television interview on January 10th Doug Shulman stated that he has used a tax consultant to prepare his tax returns for the last ten years. The Commissioner continued on to say that both he and President Obama are large proponents of simplifying the US tax code. Although when pressed further regarding how he would hope to achieve this, Doug Shulman simply said that this was not his job and that the US Congress designs the country’s tax laws.

In an initial step to clarify tax communication and simplify the tax system, on January 11th the IRS unveiled nine new correspondence letter templates that it will be using to communicate with taxpayers. The redesigned templates are aimed at improving tax compliance by providing more understandable information to recipients. Commenting on the revised letters, Doug Shulman said “…one of my priorities is to ensure that we have clear and simple communication with taxpayers. In the past, our notices often looked more like legal documents and not an effort to communicate clearly. The differences between the old and new notices are like night and day. They show the potential of our on-going effort in this area.”

Photo by Christopher S. Penn