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

Tax Wrinkles for Work-at-Home Employees During COVID-19
taxes

Tax Wrinkles for Work-at-Home Employees During COVID-19

Are your home office expenses deductible? How does going out of state to work for a while affect your tax picture? There are some interesting wrinkles…
November 9, 2020
Retirement: It All Starts with a Budget
personal finance

Retirement: It All Starts with a Budget

When you’re meeting with your financial planner, do you talk about your budget? If not, you should.
November 10, 2020
Will Joe Biden Raise YOUR Taxes?
taxes

Will Joe Biden Raise YOUR Taxes?

During the campaign, Joe Biden promised that he would raise taxes for some people. Will you be one of them?
November 10, 2020

Recommended

10 States with the Highest Gas Taxes
taxes

10 States with the Highest Gas Taxes

COVID-19 has made us appreciate driving our cars more, but filling up the tank will cost you more in these state.
November 23, 2020
It's ITIN Renewal Time!
tax filing

It's ITIN Renewal Time!

Beat the rush and avoid refund delays by renewing your ITIN before the end of the year if it's about to expire.
November 23, 2020
10 States With the Lowest Gas Taxes
taxes

10 States With the Lowest Gas Taxes

Saving money is a marathon not a sprint. And even low gas taxes can help keep money in your pocket.
November 21, 2020
Election 2020: States With Tax Questions on the Ballot
Politics

Election 2020: States With Tax Questions on the Ballot

On November 3, voters in 17 states weighed in on a variety of proposed changes impacting taxes on everything from property to pot.
November 19, 2020