With tax season underway, the new “simplified” tax documents may actually be causing Americans more headaches.
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National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson on Thursday voiced concern that the new 1040 – touted by the Trump administration as a way to "expedite" filing – is complicating the process for both taxpayers and preparers before a House Ways and Means Committee subcommittee.
“I am concerned the new Form 1040 will cause additional complexity and hassle for many taxpayers and preparers,” Olson wrote in prepared remarks. “Now, they will have to work through multiple forms and schedules and carry totals from the schedules to the main Form 1040, increasing the risk of transcription errors.”
In fact, Olson said there have been 200 percent more errors on tax forms this year when compared with last year.
While the new 1040 is less than one page, it comes with several additional schedules that many taxpayers are required to fill out and attach to the main form. The administration famously promised Americans would be able to file their taxes on a “postcard.”
According to Olson, the new postcard-sized form has added complexity – and time – to the process for more than two-thirds of Americans, because they need to fill out those additional schedules.
The National Taxpayer Advocate also predicts the new form could cause tax preparers to raise fees for their services. That’s bad news for many people, since a majority of returns are filed by professionals.
As a result, Olson suggested the IRS give taxpayers the option of using the traditional 1040 or the new simplified version when filing.
Meanwhile, those hoping to contact the tax agency with questions may also face some challenges. According to Olson, the IRS’ level of service concerning telephone lines is substantially below last year’s levels – its accounts management telephone lines and assistors have answered only 18 percent of taxpayer calls.
FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence contributed to this report.