Washington, DC -- Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) has joined several of her Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate in cosponsoring bicameral legislation led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) to ease the tax filing process of millions of American taxpayers and reduce their costs. In addition to cosponsoring the Tax Filing Simplification Act, Rep. Speier has signed a bipartisan letter, led by Representatives Katie Porter (D-CA), Peter King (D-NY) Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), that urges Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to make the rollback of the State And Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap a priority in the 116th Congress.

“Despite his rhetoric, President Trump has made taxes even tougher for the average American, including our hard-working homeowners,” Rep. Speier said. “I have heard from numerous residents in my District who were financially broadsided this tax season, some by tens of thousands of dollars, thanks to the Republican assault on local tax deductions. This was a coldly calculated, political move designed to devastate blue states – which benefit more from State and Local Tax (SALT) Deductions than red states – and line the pockets of big corporations and fat cat tax dodgers, also known as the President’s donor class.”

“Furthermore, two-thirds of Americans do not itemize deductions and for many of them the IRS has all the information it needs to easily calculate the taxes they owe. With modern technology and passage of the Tax Filing Simplification Act, the IRS could reduce the stress and cost of the tax season for the average American, who spends 11 hours preparing their taxes and shells out about $200 to do so. Compare that to residents of other countries – such as Denmark, Germany, and the UK – who have access to return-free filing and who are able to file their taxes within a matter of minutes,” Rep. Speier added.

Earlier this month, Rep. Speier led a letter with over 44 other Members of Congress urging that the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government dedicate more funding to the IRS for enforcement and taxpayer services. For every $1 spent on tax enforcement, the government yields over $4 in revenues, making increased enforcement spending a fiscally responsible move.

“The audit rate on large corporations has plummeted over 50% and the audit rate for the top 1% of taxpayers (with over $500,000 in income) by nearly 75%,” Rep. Speier said. “Reduced enforcement guarantees that the rich can cheat on their taxes without fear of getting caught. It’s time for Congress to ensure that everyone in America pays their fair share.”

A copy of Rep. Speier’s letter to the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government can be found here.

The bipartisan letter led by Reps. Porter, King, Malinowski, and Zeldin that urges the rollback of SALT deduction caps is expected to be released later this week.