Top House Democrats Ask IRS for Information on New Individual 2018 Form 1040

Top Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee have asked the IRS for information on the new individual 2018 Form 1040. The lawmakers’ inquiry comes on the heels of a National Taxpayer Advocate report released last week noting an increased potential for taxpayer errors on the new form.

2018 Form 1040

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis, D-Ga., in a recent letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig sought details related to any third-party analysis on the new Form 1040 and its six schedules. Neal and Lewis’s information request was to help them “better understand the full extent of any due diligence done on the usability of the postcard by taxpayers, specifically by third parties,” according to Neal’s February 19 press release.

Neal and Lewis requested the following information from the IRS by February 27:

  •  contact information of any third party that provided feedback on usability of the Form 1040 and its six schedules;
  •  the scope of the work performed and any associated reports or contracts;
  •  verbatim copies of observers’ notes or comments provided to the IRS;
  •  a copy of all third party documents provided to the IRS;
  •  a written description of all finding or results given to the IRS by a third party with respect to the usability of the forms;
  •  a description of what was done with the findings or results upon receipt; and
  •  an explanation for why any third-party results were not shared with the public.

National Taxpayer Advocate

The lawmakers sent the letter to Rettig soon after National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released her 2018 Annual Report to Congress. The report included, among other things, concern with the new IRS Form 1040.

“While many taxpayers will use software to complete the return, the new schedules will force some taxpayers to cross-reference and transfer data such as credits, deductions, and income, increasing the potential for errors to occur since the tax information is dispersed over many pages and needs to be tracked down and reported on different schedules and forms,” Olson wrote in the report.

Neal and Lewis’s letter is one of several that Democratic tax writers have sent to the IRS and Treasury about this year’s tax filing season. Primarily, lawmakers have been concerned with the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97) and its impact on taxpayers.

By Jessica Jeane, Senior News Editor


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