Electronic income

New bill would make filing taxes easier

NATIONWIDE — A group of 23 Democratic U.S. senators, including Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, introduced a measure on Tuesday that would simplify the tax filing process and make it easier for families to get refunds. low income. .


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  • Supporters say the bill, authored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will save Americans millions of hours of unnecessary work and potentially hundreds of dollars in tax preparation services by eliminating red tape and by simplifying the filing tools.
  • The measure is a response to what senators said were years of problems with the Free File program
  • About 70% of taxpayers are eligible for the program, but only 3% actually use it
  • If the legislation becomes law, it would prohibit the IRS from entering into agreements that would restrict its ability to provide a free online tax preparation or filing service and direct the agency to develop a free tax preparation and filing service. online tax filing system that would allow all taxpayers to file directly with the federal government without having to share private information with third parties

“We should make it easier for individuals and families to file taxes, but our complicated system is causing too many people to spend way too much time and money each year,” Hirono said. “The Income Tax Simplification Act will help change that. By simplifying the filing process, this bill will save filers time and money, and help ensure that everyone, especially low-income families and individuals, will receive refunds. tax to which they are entitled. »

Supporters say the bill, authored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will save Americans millions of hours of unnecessary work and potentially hundreds of dollars in tax preparation services by eliminating red tape and by simplifying the filing tools.

The measure is a response to what the senators said were years of problems with the Free File program, which the Internal Revenue Service has contracted out to the tax preparation industry. As the senators note, some 70% of taxpayers qualify for the program, but only 3% actually use it. The program has also been plagued by abuse complaints, including a lawsuit against Free File Alliance member Intuit for charging for filing services that should have been free.

If the legislation becomes law, it would prohibit the IRS from entering into agreements that would restrict its ability to provide a free online tax preparation or filing service; direct the IRS to develop a free online tax preparation and filing service that would allow all taxpayers to file directly with the federal government without having to share private information with third parties; and improve access to taxpayer data by allowing all taxpayers to download third-party tax information that the IRS already has in software of their choice.

Other provisions allow taxpayers with a simple tax situation to choose a free option by using a pre-established tax return with obligation or a refund amount already calculated; extend a non-filer tool to cover other tax benefits, such as labor income tax.

A companion bill in the House was introduced by Representatives Katie Porter and Brad Sherman, both Democrats from California.

Michael Tsai covers local and state politics for Spectrum News Hawaii.