Washington, D.C. - Senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), with Senate Finance Committee members Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), today introduced legislation to simplify the tax filing process for employers by allowing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and State agencies to combine, on one form, State and Federal employment tax returns. Kerry said, "This legislation makes tax filing simpler and easier for our nation's small businesses. Small businesses constitute ninety-eight percent of all businesses in America and have created two-thirds of America's new jobs since the 1970s; it's just common sense to liberate them from needless bureaucracy."

Traditionally, Federal tax forms are filed with the Federal government and State tax forms are filed with individual States. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 authorized a demonstration project to assess the combined State and Federal reporting of employment taxes, on one form, as a way of reducing the administrative burden on taxpayers. These pilots have proved very successful. Before additional joint-filing projects may move forward, the IRS must receive legislative authority to share basic information with State agencies.

The Kerry Single-Point Tax Filing Act would waive rules that restrict the IRS from sharing the duplicate information on these two forms and allow the IRS to extend joint-filing beyond its current pilot project. The waiver would only pertain to employment tax reporting and would only permit the disclosure of the taxpayer's name, mailing address, taxpayer identification number, and signature (i.e., taxpayer identity information). Massachusetts is one of many states currently considering agreements with the IRS to initiate joint-filing of employment taxes

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Guzzi said,"I commend Sen. Kerry for filing the Single-Point Tax Filing Act of 1999. The Chamber supports this legislation because it would lower business costs and streamline costs and streamline the filing process, especially for our region's leading industries - education, financial services, health care, high tech, and tourism - that play such a critical role in keeping our economy strong."