By Sunshine State News February 3, 2018
This week, Florida Republican Congressman Bill Posey doubled down on his efforts to help streamline federal taxes for senior citizens living on fixed incomes.
Posey spoke to the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday about his “Seniors’ Tax Simplification Act” proposal. The bill mandates the IRS create a new federal tax form for seniors, Form 1040SR which is similar to the current Form 1040EZ with a few additional benefits. Under Posey’s proposal, seniors would be able to file their taxes on the form even if they rely on Social Security, qualified retirement plans, interest, dividends and capital gains.
“Many senior citizens don’t have complicated income streams and it’s just common sense that their tax filing forms reflect that reality,” Posey said this week. “Simplifying these forms will help senior citizens save time and money when it comes time to file their taxes.”
Posey introduced his bill back in May and has reeled in ten cosponsors including fellow Florida Republican Congressman Dan Webster and California Democrat Congressman Brad Sherman. The proposal also has the support of the 60 Plus Association and the AARP.
There’s a similar proposal in the Senate from Florida Republican Marco Rubio which has Florida Democrat Bill Nelson and Utah Republican Mike Lee as cosponsors. The two senators from the Sunshine State have been working together pushing similar proposals since Rubio entered the Senate back in 2011.
“Filing one’s taxes has become a dreaded experience, but this is especially so for seniors whose retirement finances are simple but still have to deal with a complicated filing process,” Rubio said when he first teamed up with Nelson on the issue. “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.”
“Seniors are not alone when it comes to dreading doing their tax returns,” Nelson said. “Almost everybody complains about the hours it takes and seemingly endless complex forms. So this legislation is a good step in the right direction. Hopefully, we’ll be able to simplify the tax code next.”