House Bill Would Simplify Older Payers' Tax Form

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A new bill pending in the U.S. House would make filing taxes easier for seniors but its chief proponent is considered extremely vulnerable in the fall election and there's no similar bill in the Senate.

Introduced on April 1 by Rep. Max Burns, a Georgia Republican, the bill aims to simplify the tax-filing process for seniors who currently can't use the single-page 1040EZ form if they receive Social Security benefits or want to claim the elderly tax credit, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The form proposed by Burns would have more lines than the 1040EZ but would be simpler than the two-page 1040A form, Dow Jones reported.

"It is a bizarre oversight that the IRS discriminates against American seniors," Burns said when he introduced the bill, which is expected to pass the House.

The bill the House will consider will allow seniors with income from dividends and capital gains to use the simplified form. The more elaborate form was lobbied for by affluent senior groups, whose demands flew in the face of Burn's desire to keep the simpler form to one page. Seniors itemizing their deductions, instead of simply taking a standard deduction, will also be able to use the form, Dow Jones reported.

The Treasury Department estimates that about 11 million of 35 million seniors would be eligible to use the new form, Burns office said.

The IRS has drafted a version of the new form and Burns' office said that the agency has been talking about the senior-friendly form for years. However, Burns' bill would force the agency to act, his spokesman said.

Burns, who received 55 percent of the vote when he was elected, comes from a district that favored Al Gore in the 2000 election.

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