Law professors and economists support Warren tax bill

Law professors and economists support Warren tax bill
© Greg Nash

A group of 54 law professors and economists has signed a letter supporting a bill from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSanders keeping door open on 2020 Scaramucci deletes old tweets bashing Trump Trump's new communications chief once called him a 'hack' MORE (D-Mass.) to simplify and reduce the cost of tax filing.

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Warren's bill, called the Tax Filing Simplification Act, would allow taxpayers to download data from third parties that the Internal Revenue Service already receives, such as wage, interest and dividend information. To make this possible, the bill requires third parties to report information to the government in a timely fashion.

"These provisions should substantially reduce record-keeping and filing costs," the economists and law professors said. "The provisions should also reduce post-filing adjustments and audits by reducing the number of mistakes taxpayers make when filling out forms."

Also under the legislation, introduced last week, people with simple returns can request returns that have already been filled out. The experts said that pre-prepared returns are already standard in other countries.

"These returns will substantially reduce tax filing costs for qualifying taxpayers," they said.

The bill also requires the IRS to develop its own free online tax-preparation service and bars the agency from entering into agreements with the tax-preparation industry that would impede upon the IRS's ability to provide this service.

"The Tax Simplification Act’s requirement that the IRS provide that software to citizens who wish to use it is a much-needed improvement to our current system, in which taxpayers have limited options for e-filing taxes and must share data with private third parties in order to submit their tax returns electronically," the law professors and economists said.

The bill has several co-sponsors in the Senate, including Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders keeping door open on 2020 Parliamentarian deals setback to GOP repeal bill OPINION | Hey Dems, Russia won't define 2018, so why not fix your party's problems instead? MORE (I-Vt.). Sanders's rival for the nomination, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump Jr. adds to legal team ahead of Senate meeting Trump: Democrats, Russians laughing at 'phony Russian Witch Hunt' Scaramucci makes Sunday shows debut with vow to stop WH leaks MORE, also supports the legislation.  

A Credo Action petition to urge Congress to support the bill had more than 90,000 signers as of Tuesday morning.