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Foster news release: Foster introduces legislation to simplify tax filing

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, issued the following news release:

Congressman Bill Foster, along with Congressman Mike Quigley, introduced the Autofill Act of 2013 to simplify the process of filling out Federal income tax forms, saving taxpayers time and money.

Each year during the tax filing season, taxpayers face the stress of spending countless hours locating tax information stubs and filling out information that the IRS already has on file. Taxpayers spend an estimated 6.1 billion hours a year complying with the tax code and an average of over $200 on tax preparation fees.

The Autofill Act of 2013 would create a voluntary tax filing program that would allow individuals to log in to a secure IRS website and download a tax form that is automatically populated with information the IRS already collects from employers, the Social Security Administration and financial institutions.

“Our tax code is complicated enough, we shouldn’t be asking taxpayers to submit information the IRS already has,” Foster said. “It’s time to bring the tax filing system into the 21st century with a commonsense solution that reduces the burden on taxpayers and decreases the costs associated with filling out tax forms.”

The information from the populated tax forms would be available as both a printable document file and a computer-readable form that would be compatible with existing tax preparation software. Taxpayers could simply review the returns for accuracy and sign at the bottom, saving them time, money and anxiety.

The Autofill Act of 2013 will reduce tax mistakes and compliance costs saving up to an estimated $2 billion a year in fees and 225 million hours of time. In California, the state’s two tax filing programs save the state an estimated $500,000 annually and ninety-eight percent of users have indicated that they would use it again.

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