April 12, 2017


Millions of Americans will be spending the weekend preparing their taxes to meet the federal tax filing deadline, which is next Tuesday, April 18th.

Tax filing can be a complicated, expensive process. Americans spend more than 6 billion hours every year preparing their taxes, and almost 60 percent use paid tax preparers to file. Filing your taxes should be much simpler. That’s why I recently introduced legislation to simplify the federal tax return process.

The Simpler Tax Filing Act, which I introduced last week along with Senator Elizabeth Warren, would direct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide many tax filers with a one-page tax return already filled out with the taxpayer’s information, known as a “simple return.” The IRS would notify eligible taxpayers that they have the option of filing a “simple return” before sending eligible taxpayers a one-page return already filled out with the relevant information. The taxpayer would then double-check the form for accuracy before filing it electronically. The simple return would become a voluntary program that could be offered to as many as 40 percent of Americans, saving up to 225 million hours of taxpayers’ time and $2 billion annually in tax preparation fees.

Americans shouldn’t have to spend so much time before Tax Day navigating a needlessly complex process. The Simpler Tax Filing Act would provide Americans with a return option that will not only simplify the income tax process, but also save them time and money. It’s a common-sense solution.

Thank you,

Jeanne Shaheen


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