Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) in introducing the Seniors' Tax Simplification Act to simplify tax filing requirements for seniors. The legislation would create a new 1040SR form for seniors that will allow for easier filing for income stemming from Social Security benefits, retirement plans, annuities, dividends, capital gains and interest.
"This tax filing season, millions of Americans will spend billions of hours filing their taxes. That's quite a reminder of our need to reform and simplify our complicated tax code," said Sen. Carper. "In order to save time and make things easier for our seniors, this legislation will help simplify the tax filing process for older Americans with straightforward tax returns."
"As tax day approaches, people are being reminded firsthand of why filing taxes is a dreaded experience, especially in the case of seniors whose retirement finances are simple yet still require a complicated filing process," said Sen. Rubio. "For many seniors, paying taxes can and should be a lot easier than it is, and this new senior tax form will eliminate the hassle by making it easier to report their income each year."
"This time of year there are probably few things folks dread more than filling out seemingly endless and overly complex tax forms," said Sen. Nelson. "If we can make life a tiny bit easier for seniors by simplifying the process, like we do with 1040 EZ, then we should do it."
"This is another instance of the federal government making tax compliance harder than it has to be," said Sen. Lee. "While we still need broad tax reform that benefits all Americans, the Seniors' Tax Simplification Act is an easy, no-cost, bipartisan solution that would improve a portion of the tax code for America's seniors."
A companion bill, H.R. 38, has been introduced in the House by Congressmen John Fleming, M.D. (R-La.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.). This legislation has been endorsed by the AARP, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), the 60 Plus Association, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the National Taxpayer Union (NTU).
Additional Background on Seniors' Tax Simplification Act
Under current law, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes filing a tax return more difficult for seniors by prohibiting taxpayers over the age of 65 from using the one-page form 1040EZ, even if they have a simple return and choose not to itemize deductions. This is because the form 1040EZ does not include a line for pension and Social Security income. Instead, seniors are required to file using the far more complicated form 1040 and its numerous schedules. The Seniors Tax Simplification Act will provide a basic, easy-to-read form called the 1040SR for senior taxpayers earning Social Security, retirement benefits, interest and capital gains. The Joint Committee on Taxation has reviewed this legislation and stated that the enactment of this law will have no revenue effect and will not add to the debt.