taxes

Want to Know How Complicated Our Tax System Is? Check Out the IRS's "Taxpayer Roadmap"

The roadmap, which looks like a subway map, makes navigating the tax system as clear as mud.

We all know the U.S. tax system is complicated. And now, thanks to outgoing National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, there's a poster you can hang up in your home or office to prove it. (It's great for college dorm rooms, too!) In her final report to Congress, Olson introduced the "Taxpayer Roadmap," which "shows, at a high level, the taxpayer's 'journey' through the tax system—from getting answers to tax law questions and preparing a return, through return processing, audit, appeals, litigation, and collection." Talk about your head-spinners! You can view it online or, if you want your very own 18" x 18" poster that's suitable for framing, call 800-829-3676 and request Publication 5341. Get 'em while supplies last!

This two-dimensional roadmap is really just the first step in the Taxpayer Advocate Service's (TAS's) development of a more robust "digital roadmap" that will allow taxpayers and tax professional to "input the document number of any IRS letter or notice and receive a plain English summary of that letter or notice." With the digital tool, you'll also be able to click on the map and see where you are in the overall process. From there, you'll also be able to "learn more about that step in the tax process and the surrounding steps through pop-ups and links into additional TAS and IRS content." The first iteration of the digital map is expected to be released during the IRS's 2020 fiscal year.

Most Popular

7 Standout Places to Retire
Best Places

7 Standout Places to Retire

We picked cities across the U.S. that are affordable and offer the amenities retirees value most. Plus, one of them is bound to be close to family.
June 17, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
I’m Retired. Should I Pay Off My Mortgage?
retirement

I’m Retired. Should I Pay Off My Mortgage?

It’s a simple question. The right answer for you could depend on this: Where would you pull the money from to do it?
June 20, 2022

Recommended

Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: A State-by-State Guide
state tax

Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: A State-by-State Guide

Don't be surprised by an unexpected state tax bill on your unemployment benefits. Know where unemployment compensation is taxable and where it isn't.
June 23, 2022
33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
retirement

33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes

Even with the federal exemption from death taxes raised, retirees should pay more attention to estate taxes and inheritance taxes levied by states.
June 23, 2022
10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees
retirement

10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

Moving to a low-tax state in retirement can help make your retirement savings last longer.
June 23, 2022
Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees
Tax Breaks

Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

We rated every state, plus the District of Columbia, on how retirees are taxed. Some of the results might surprise you.
June 23, 2022