A bipartisan pair of U.S. senators from Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio, have introduced a bill that would simplify the tax-filing requirements of senior citizens.

The Seniors Tax Simplification Act would create a new 1040SR form to allow for easier filing for Social Security benefits, as well as dividends, capital gains and interest. 

A companion bill, H.R. 1058, has been introduced in the House by Congressman John Fleming, M.D., R-La. The legislation has been endorsed by the American Association of Retired Persons, the 60 Plus Association, Americans for Tax Reform and the National Taxpayer Union

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Under current law, the Internal Revenue Service makes filing a tax return more difficult for seniors by prohibiting taxpayers over the age of 65 from using the one-page form 1040EZ, even if they have a simple return and choose not to itemize deductions, the senators noted. This is because the form 1040EZ does not include a line for pension and Social Security income.

Instead, seniors are required to file using the far more complicated form 1040 and its numerous schedules.

The Seniors Tax Simplification Act would provide a basic, easy-to-read form called the 1040SR for senior taxpayers earning Social Security, retirement benefits, interest and capital gains.  The Joint Committee on Taxation has reviewed this legislation and stated that the enactment of this law will have no revenue effect and will not add to the debt.

“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.”

“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 the such an important state as Florida will ensure a very bright prospect for this bill's passage. My cosponsors and I in the House will be working very hard to make this important bill become a reality.”

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