Emory Law Journal

ELJ OnlineVolume 66

The Uses and Abuses of Simplexity

A Response to Joshua D. Blank & Leigh Osofsky, Simplexity: Plain Language and the Tax Law, 66 Emory L.J. 189 (2017)

Lawrence Zelenak | 66 Emory L.J. Online 2011 (2017)

Although the importance of IRS publications in the administration of the federal income tax can hardly be overstated, before Joshua D. Blank's and Leigh Osofsky's comprehensive study of simplexity in IRS publications scholars had given those publications almost no attention. I agree with all their major conclusions--including, most significantly, that some simplexity is inevitable in carrying out the IRS's duty of explaining immensely complex tax laws to a general readership. This brief Essay is devoted to a few points on which I disagree with the analysis of Blank and Osofksy (none of which affect my agreement with their major conclusions), and to a few thoughts--inspired by reading Blank and Osofksy--on a few non-simplexity aspects of IRS publications.

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