Missouri rep. wants filing taxes to be as easy as filling out postcards

9 months 6 days 2 hours ago Wednesday, April 24 2019 Apr 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:14:00 PM CDT April 24, 2019 in News
By: Daniel Perreault, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY – A new bill is designed to simplify the tax process by cutting the number of income tax brackets in Missouri from nine to two.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Vic Allred, R-Parkville, was heard for the first time by the House Ways and Means committee Wednesday morning.

“We need two rates just for equity, but you don’t need ten,” Allred said. “We just don’t need that many rates.”

His proposed dividing line between the different tax brackets would be $9,000 in adjusted gross income.

“For the average Missourians, they will just pay that one rate if they are on the lower side of $9,000, or they’ll pay the other rate if they are on the higher side of the $9,000 in adjusted gross,” Allred said. “Lower income and older folks who are on more of a fixed income will benefit just slightly because they will be set at a lower rate.”

Under Allred’s bill, the tax filing process would be more streamlined for most Missourians. He said it would be as "simple as it can get," like filling out a postcard instead of pages of forms.

“If you itemize, your tax return will be the same, and you are still going to have to fill out the long form. But for most people, they don’t have $12,000 in deductions unless you're donating a lot to charity or you have a huge mortgage.”

Allred said Tax Simple Center in Kansas City did the calculations on how to place the new tax brackets.

“We have spent ten years on this tax simplification research,” said John Lee, the founder of Tax Simple Center. “Our goal is not to change any tax revenue; our goal is to simplify.”

Allred said he wants all Missourians to be able to understand the tax process.

"The people in Missouri don’t need to have to pay an expensive accountant or a tax return preparation company to file their state taxes or costly software to file their state taxes,” Allred said. “This is simple, fill it out on a postcard and send it in.

Allred said the bill is not likely to be passed this legislative session, but he is preparing to bring it up again next year.

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