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Press Release: Sali’s Tax Form Simplification Plan Passes House

April 15th, 2008 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bill Sali’s bipartisan proposal to make tax forms and instructions available in plain, straightforward language passed the U.S. House of Representatives today. The action comes just one day ahead of the April 15 deadline for most Americans to file federal income tax returns.

“Anyone still working today to wade through a jumble of tax forms and nonsensical instructions can appreciate the need to fix this broken system. Hopefully, by this time next year, the action we have taken today will result in some needed relief from the stress of tax filing season,” said Sali. “This is only the beginning of a broader effort to reform how the federal government – from Congress to agencies like the IRS – interacts with everyday Americans. Congress needs to be reformed. The tax code must be reformed. And the work that the federal government does shouldn’t be mysterious and unsolvable to citizens merely filing tax returns.”

Sali worked with Congressman Bruce Braley, an Iowa Democrat, to add an amendment to the Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2007, HR 3548.

“The Plain Language Act requires a simple change to business-as-usual that’ll make a big difference for anyone who’s ever filled out a tax return,” Rep Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) said. “It’s been a pleasure working with my friend and colleague Bill Sali on this important effort. This legislation shows what bipartisanship can accomplish when we put aside our differences and work together for the common good.”

Sali concurred saying, “No one enjoys paying taxes but at the very least, the forms should be readable and understandable to the average American. Americans should be able to tell quickly and easily, whether they’re paying too much or too little in taxes. It should not take an attorney to figure it out.

“It is imperative that Americans know just what is being asked of them, and that is why plain language in tax forms and instructions is so important,” Sali said on the House floor. “The Plain Language in Government Communications Act would enhance citizen access to government information and services by promoting the use of ‘plain language’ in government documents issued to the public.”

In addition, this bill states that the English language should be used when appropriate.

H.R. 3548 passed the House by a vote of 376 – 1. It will now be sent to the Senate for further action.

Sali is gaining recognition as a key leader of the movement to reform the way Congress does business. He spent 16 years in the Idaho Legislature, where the state Constitution requires laws be plainly worded and that technical terms are to be avoided.

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