Neal, Lewis Request IRS Provide Previously Unreleased Third-Party Analysis of New 2019 Tax Forms

Feb 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-GA) sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig, asking him to provide a range of information related to any third-party analysis that was conducted on the usability of the new individual income tax return – IRS Form 1040 – and its six schedules. The members made this request following the release of the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2018 Annual Report to Congress last week, which included a description of the challenges of the new form’s implementation. 

In the lead-up to passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and following its enactment, Republican leaders insisted that one result of the new tax law would be a dramatically simplified, postcard-sized Form 1040. In their letter, Chairman Neal and Rep. Lewis explained that they seek to “better understand the full extent of any due diligence done on the usability of the postcard by taxpayers,” specifically by third parties. 

Among the pieces of information the members requested are: 
• Verbatim copies of notes taken by outside observers who watched taxpayers work through the new forms; 
• The written description of all findings 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 and all third-party results were not shared with the public. 

Full text of the letter is available here.