January 3rd, 2008

fuzzy sweatpants

idle thoughts from spending too much time looking at IRS tax forms

I love that the PDFs printed on the IRS's website all have the "Printed on recycled paper" logo at the bottom.

A significant chunk of a page on every tax form instructions has a "Paperwork Reduction Act Notice", detailing some information about the act, how long it will take to fill out the associated form, and what to do if you have questions or comments along those lines. Hey, I have a novel idea on how to create a reduction in the amount of paper needed for this paperwork...

And for about an hour just now, I was 90% sure I found a bug, repeated several times, in the instructions for a federal tax form. (It turns out not to be a bug, but I'd call it bad documentation any time you're asked to divide by a percentage without the rules explicitly explaining why. People in general are really really bad at dividing by numbers between 0 and 1.)