Over the past nine months, the Isaac Brock Society has built up an impressive collection of posts, many containing links to hard-to-find information buried in the nooks and crannies of the IRS website. Well, the IRS, in the process of their oh-so-helpful website redesign, just broke a bunch of those web page links. (Links to PDF forms and publications still seem to be okay, for now, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they broke those too later.) If you follow an old link, you’ll get the wonderfully-helpful message:
We have redesigned the IRS.gov website to make it easier and faster to find the information you need. If you have reached this page by selecting a bookmark that worked previously, it is likely the URL has changed. To navigate to the new redesigned IRS website click on the homepage link. You may also Search the site for specific information. Once you have arrived at the desired page, please update your bookmark.
What happened? Did they decide to disappear a bunch of inconvenient documents down the memory hole? Apparently not; they just moved it all around, which is almost as good: breaking thousands of links makes it harder and slower, not “easier and faster to find the information you need”. Even more strangely, some old links work — as if the IRS went through their website and picked a few random items to fix by hand, instead of bothering to figure out an automated solution to make sure all the old links remained working. Now those of us who have time and energy will have to go back and fix all of our old posts. Unfortunately there is no easy fix; you have to do it by hand. I give one example of how I did it below.