Warren introduces bill to make filing taxes easier

Warren introduces bill to make filing taxes easier
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection Feehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' Overnight Energy: Warren wants Dems to hold climate-focused debate | Klobuchar joins candidates rejecting fossil fuel money | 2020 contender Bennet offers climate plan MORE (D-Mass.) on Wednesday rolled out legislation designed to simplify and reduce the cost of filing taxes.

The bill was offered days before the tax filing due date. In most states, the deadline is April 18, but in Warren’s home state it’s April 19, because the previous day is Patriots’ Day.

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"Congress should be making it easier for Americans to file their taxes each year, not bowing to the interests of the tax prep industry," Warren said in a press release.

The legislation, called the Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2016, would instruct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to develop a free online tax-preparation service. It would also bar the IRS from entering into agreements with tax-preparation companies that limit the agency’s ability to provide free preparation services.

Under the bill, taxpayers would have the right to download information from third parties that the IRS has already received, and those with simple tax situations could use a return-free option to address their taxes.

The bill has a number of co-sponsors, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection California Democrats face crisis of credibility after lawsuits Fox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel MORE (I-Vt.), who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

"Tax Day has become an opportunity for corporations to profit off of confusion over our complicated tax code. That is wrong," he said. "The Tax Filing Simplification Act would end the absurdity of Americans having to pay private companies hundreds of dollars to pay their taxes."

Sanders' opponent for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection What the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push MORE, also supports the bill.

"This important piece of legislation will help us build a better, fairer tax system," she said in a statement. "This proposal will help take the headache out of Tax Day, saving Americans both time and money."

Along with the bill, Warren released a report from her staff that details how the tax prep industry has prevented the IRS from implementing laws to simplify tax preparation.