Simplify taxes | Arkansas Blog

Simplify taxes



Sensible policy proposals don't seem much in fashion this season of teabaggers and other tantrums.

But John Adams, Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, has one on tax returns. The IRS could draw on salary and bank and other financial information it already collects and automatically do standard-deduction tax returns for any taxpayer willing to voluntarily participate. About 40 percent of taxpayers would likely qualify, he says, and they could save themselves a lot of time, trouble and tax prep costs.


Today, Assistant Attorney General and Democratic Second District Congressional Candidate John Adams announced his plan to make tax season less taxing for working families.

This year, the average individual U.S. taxpayer will spend over twenty-five hours collecting and submitting tax paperwork.  Much of this effort is unnecessary. Employers tell the IRS the amount of our salaries and benefits on Form W-2s. Our banks and other financial institutions report the amount of interest paid on savings with 1099s, as well as the status of our retirement accounts and amount of interest paid on home mortgage loans.

Yet Congress has not required the IRS to share the information it has with taxpayers in a way that makes the system more transparent and makes filing easier.

"My first bill as a member of Congress will be to establish a national Simple Return, easing the tax-season burden on working families and making government smaller and more efficient," Adams said.

A Simple Return program would require the IRS to provide taxpayers taking the standard deduction with tax return forms that already include the information directly reported to the government by banks and employers.  The program would be voluntary, so those taxpayers preferring to fill out a blank form could continue to do so. Simple Returns could save time and money for an estimated 40% of all taxpayers.

"This proposal is just the first step in rethinking how we pay taxes in America, and making the tax code work for families in central Arkansas.

"We need a congressman who knows how to make government work by finding practical solutions to real-life problems."


- A Simple Return could cover 40% of all taxpayers and save taxpayers $2 billion per year in preparation costs.

- Taxpayers on average spend over 25 hours preparing state and federal income tax returns

- The IRS already maintains the information needed to implement a "Simple Return"

- A "Simple Return" could reduce IRS expenses by $36 million a year by reducing errors and investigations

For more information about this proposal please visit:

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