Warren introduces bill to make filing taxes easier

Warren introduces bill to make filing taxes easier
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine 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 SandersSanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll 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 ClintonTrump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers Will Trump's racist tweets backfire? Democrats fret over Trump cash machine 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.