WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry today applauded IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti for giving thousands of small businesses an easier way to calculate their income and expenses.

The new procedure allows service-related small businesses with annual gross receipts between $1 million and $10 million to use the simpler, cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting, rather than the complex accrual and inventory methods.

"The streamlined process introduced by the IRS will ease the paperwork burden for millions of America's small businesses." Kerry said. "Instead of spending time counting inventory, small- business owners can focus on improving their businesses."

Eligible trades and businesses include dentists, veterinarians and contractors, among others.

"While this move by the IRS is a formative step in the right direction, much more can be done to reduce paperwork and simplify tax filing for small businesses," Kerry added. "My single point tax filing proposal, which passed the full Senate on two occasions, has yet to become law."

In recent years, several states have been working with the IRS to implement combined state and federal reporting of employment taxes, on one form, as a way of reducing the administrative burden on taxpayers.

Senator Kerry's legislation, the Affordable Small Business Stimulus Act of 2001 (S. 1676), would allow joint-filing projects to move forward beyond the current pilot project by providing the IRS with the legislative authority to share basic taxpayer information with State agencies. Joint filing offers the potential to greatly simplify the tax filing process for small business owners. The legislation also includes a number of other tax changes favorable to small businesses, such as increases in the small business expensing allowance and permanent changes to the depreciation schedules for computers and software.