Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio Hope to Streamline IRS Filings for Seniors
Around the State
Florida’s two U.S. senators -- Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio -- worked across party lines Wednesday to introduce a measure that would create a new IRS form for senior citizens. The senators maintain it would make filing taxes on Social Security benefits and other sources of income easier for retirees.
The senators unveiled the legislation, which they dub the Seniors Tax Simplification Act, that would set up a new 1040SR form for seniors filing taxes. The proposal has the backing of a wide array of groups, including the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the 60 Plus Association, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the National Taxpayer Union (NTU).
With taxpayers over the age of 65 not allowed by law to file their taxes with the streamlined 1040EZ form -- which does not include lines to file income from pensions and Social Security benefits -- seniors are currently forced to use the standard 1040 form. Under the proposal introduced by Florida’s two senators, seniors would be able to use the proposed 1040SR form which would allow seniors to file income from Social Security, pension and other benefits on a simple form. Staffers for the two senators noted that the Joint Committee on Taxation had vetted the proposal and found it would not add to the debt or federal spending if implemented.
“Seniors are not alone when it comes to dreading doing their tax returns,” said Nelson. “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.”
“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,” said Rubio. “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.”
The measure in the U.S. House is being sponsored by Louisiana Republican U.S. Rep. John Fleming.
“As the sponsor of the Seniors Tax Simplification Act in the House of Representatives, I'm very delighted to be working with Senators Rubio and Nelson from Florida on this simple yet significant legislation for seniors,” said Fleming. “The leadership of both these senators from such an important state as Florida will ensure a very bright prospect for this bill's passage. My co-sponsors and I in the House will be working very hard to make this important bill become a reality.”
Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews or (850) 727-0859.