April 19, 2016

On Massachusetts Tax Day, Support Grows for Warren's Bill to Simplify Tax Filing

Letter signed by 54 tax law professors and economists backs legislation

Text of the letter available here

Washington, DC - As the tax deadline for Massachusetts residents hits today, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced that her Tax Filing Simplification Act has received the support of 54 tax experts from across the country. This legislation, which was introduced by Senator Warren and eight other senators last week, would simplify the tax filing process and decrease the costs of filing for millions of Americans. The bill was released in conjunction with a Warren staff report that showed how the tax preparation industry has blocked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from implementing laws that would make tax preparation and filing easier for taxpayers.

The 54 experts who signed the letter supporting Senator Warren's bill include economists and law professors. The letter explains that provisions in the bill are a "much-needed improvement to our current system," which is a "great bargain for industry, but a bad bargain for taxpayers." The 13 professors who joined this letter over the weekend run tax clinics for low-income taxpayers and know first-hand all the hurdles working people face on Tax Day.

"The Tax Filing Simplification Act would make Tax Day easier for people in Massachusetts and across the country who pay an average of $200 for tax preparation services," Senator Warren said. "The government should work for taxpayers - not for the tax preparation industry - and that means reforming our tax filing system to reduce stress and lower costs for families."

The Tax Filing Simplification Act would direct the 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 into whichever software taxpayers choose to use, and would provide those with simple tax situations with a return-free option.

Read the text of the letter signed by tax professors and economists supporting Senator Warren's legislation here.