Michaud Joins Push to Simplify Seniors’ Tax Prep

May 6, 2011 Issues: Working for Maine Seniors

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Mike Michaud is supporting a bill that would make filing taxes easier for seniors by providing them a basic, easy to read form. He recently added his name to the Seniors Tax Simplification Act (H.R. 1058), which would create a simple form called a “1040SR,” which would ease the reporting requirements of those receiving Social Security and other retirement benefits, as well as interest and capital gains on investments.

“There are enough headaches come tax time,” said Michaud. “The last thing seniors need to confront is unnecessarily long and complicated forms just because they receive Social Security benefits. This bill would accomplish something we should have done a long time ago – allow those 65 and older to file their taxes on a form tailored to meet their specific needs.”

Under current law, taxpayers that do not require the complexity of the full 1040 tax form are allowed to use the 1040EZ – a simplified form developed by the IRS. Taxpayers 65 or older are prohibited from using the one-page 1040EZ form, because it does not include a line for pension and Social Security income, even if they have a simple return and choose not to itemize deductions. Instead, seniors are required to file using the far more complicated 1040 form.

In 2003 the IRS conducted two popular pilot programs in Tampa and Minneapolis to create a simple form for seniors, but discontinued the program without reason. Legislation to create a simple form for seniors passed unanimously in the House in the 108th Congress.

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