MAKING Z CONNECTION: CHANGES THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE SHOULD IMPLEMENT TO REACH GENERATION Z1
Written by Elisabeth Sperow, J.D.
We live in the most technologically advanced society in the world. Yet we continue to leave a myriad of taxpayers in the dark when it comes to filing their income tax returns with a lack of easily accessible information and preparation methods. This paper highlights some steps the Internal Revenue Service ("the IRS") can take to reach the newest generation of taxpayers, Generation Z ("Gen Z"), while increasing their understanding of their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers, and ways the IRS can improve the tax filing process in general.
At the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, our team endeavored to learn what young taxpayers and workers think of the current tax education and preparation methods and how they believed they should be improved. To gather sufficient data, we created and conducted an anonymous, on-line, nonscientific survey of over 150 students, employees, and young adults to ascertain their confidence in obtaining adequate tax information and filing their own returns as well as the media through which they would prefer to file. Our survey, as well as independent research we conducted, found that Gen Z has a profound lack of knowledge of their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers. This generation is coming of age with a technological familiarity surpassing all previous generations, which makes them ideally situated to help the IRS expand and improve in ways that will benefit everyone.