Udall: ‘Tax Day should be as painless as possible for taxpayers’
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tom Udall, along with 10 other senators, announced plans to reintroduce the Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2017 to simplify and decrease the costs of the tax filing process for millions of American taxpayers. This year, taxpayers will spend an average of 13 hours preparing and filing their returns, and will pay $200 for tax preparation services - a cost equal to almost 10 percent of the average federal tax refund.
"Tax Day should be as painless as possible for taxpayers," Udall said. "But I regularly hear from New Mexicans who tell me that the unnecessarily complicated tax filing process is costing them valuable time and hard-earned money. This long-overdue legislation will simplify tax filing for millions of Americans, protect individuals' private information, and save families money by enabling them to file their taxes for free. There's simply no good reason for Congress to delay this commonsense reform."
The legislation would direct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to develop a free, online tax preparation and filing service that taxpayers can use to prepare and file their taxes directly with the federal government, if they choose to do so, and would prohibit the IRS from entering into agreements that restrict its ability to provide free online tax preparation or filing services. The Act would give all taxpayers the right to download third-party-reported tax information that the IRS already has, and would provide those with simple tax situations with a return-free option.
Originally introduced in the 114th Congress, The Tax Filing Simplification Act has been endorsed by over 40 law professors and economists, and is endorsed by the National Consumer Law Center on behalf of its low-income clients, Americans for Financial Reform, the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, Americans for Tax Fairness, and the Hispanic Federation. The bill will be introduced when Congress resumes its 115th session later this month. The bill will be led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and cosponsored by Udall, Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).