TAP Makes Significant Progress Towards Improving Form 1040 and Instructions

The Taxpayer Advocate Panel (TAP) Tax Forms and Publications Committee (Committee) received the IRS response to its submission of Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, regarding the form’s instructions, and the corresponding filing Schedules 1, 2, and 3.

The Committee made 38 recommendations to make the forms and its instructions clear, concise and easier for taxpayers to understand their tax filing obligations. The IRS adopted or partially adopted over 40 percent of TAP’s recommendations.

The Committee sees the IRS adoption rate of this recommendation as a win for taxpayers. Below are several of the recommendations the IRS adopted:

  • Defining the status of a resident alien to help taxpayers who are not U.S. citizens but spend sufficient time in the U.S. to better understand their income tax reporting obligation.
  • Providing guidance to taxpayers who are married to nonresident aliens who aren’t clear on their filing status.
  • Providing clearer instructions for how to include jury duty pay.
  • Expanding the options on where direct deposits can go to include health savings accounts and brokerage accounts.
  • Providing Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) as an option to pay your taxes online or by phone.
  • Highlighting where taxpayers can find more information on securing their tax returns, which is included in the publication.

Other recommendations included modifying the language used in the text on the form to be consistent throughout the instructions and making the instructions easier to read and understand.

We thank the IRS for their consideration of our recommendations and look forward to the IRS implementing the changes for the 2024 filing season.

Learn more about how TAP members are working to improve the IRS by reading the 2022 TAP Annual Report. If you have suggestions for improving IRS processes and customer service, let us know. We take all comments seriously and will discuss them at a future TAP meeting. You can also make a difference by becoming a TAP member. Join us and help TAP do more great work on behalf of the taxpayers in your community.