Throwback Thursday tax edition: The IRS and Siegel+Gale

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It’s throwback Thursday–to mark tax day, we’re showcasing our work with the Internal Revenue Service.

IRS Building
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In 2010, almost three decades after we created the 1040EZ tax form, the IRS approached our team with another major challenge: letter proliferation.

The IRS sends out more than 200,000,000 notices a year. A taxpayer can receive any one of over 1,000 different notices created by 120 different authors generated by more than 40 different systems. This can often lead to confusion and frustration among the public.

Determining that just 37 letters could serve as models for 70% of all correspondence, we simplified these letters as our starting point to combat the complexity.

Positive research results were our green light to proceed with developing a modular document-generation system that standardizes layout, navigation, content and tone of voice—ensuring the consistency and comprehensibility of all letters.

Our simplification project was honored with both the 2011 Grand Prize ClearMark Award and the Revised Document: Public Sector Award from the Center for Plain Language.

Siegel+Gale is proud to have partnered with the IRS to simplify the annual process of completing tax returns. Click on the links below to view the documents before and after the revisions.

CP08 – Before; CP08 – After
CP21A – Before; CP21A – After

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