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Mon Apr 15, 2019, 05:03 PM

Elizabeth Warren wants to make it simpler to file taxes. Good for her.

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By Helaine Olen
Opinion writer
April 12

It may be spring, but there’s a good chance that many Americans won’t get to appreciate it this weekend. All too many of us are likely putting the finishing touches on our federal and state income taxes, gathering all the paperwork pertaining to our charitable contributions, IRA distributions and employment income so that we can file our returns by April 15.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whose office estimates that the average American spends 11 hours and about $200 on tax preparation, would like you to know it doesn’t need to be this way. She’s now reintroducing her Tax Filing Simplification Act, which she first introduced in 2016. The legislation, should it ever come to pass, would essentially free many Americans from the time-consuming and costly ritual, while making it less costly for others. And that’s not all. On Thursday, Warren debuted another proposal, the Real Corporate Profits Tax, which would make it harder for the largest corporations to avoid paying their fair share.

Under current law, corporations can report large sums of annual profit to Wall Street and investors, while still using loopholes to pay no taxes to the feds. According to a study released Thursday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, at least 60 Fortune 500 companies paid nothing to the federal government in taxes in 2018, continuing a decline in corporate tax revenue since President Trump and congressional Republicans lowered the corporate tax rate. The companies include Amazon (founded by The Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos), which is paying nothing despite earning more than $230 billion worldwide.

Warren’s effort would make that dance impossible. Her bill would set a 7 percent tax rate on all reported profits in excess of $100 million. In other words, if a mega corporation can report those sorts of earnings to Wall Street, it needs to pay a minimum tax, no matter how many loopholes it takes advantage of.

FULL story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/12/good-elizabeth-warren-wanting-make-it-simpler-file-taxes/?utm_term=.0007e16ce480

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). (Sarah Rice for The Washington Post)

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