Rep. Terry Nealey’s tax reporting simplification bill passes House

The House of Representatives approved a bill Monday that would simplify the process of tax reporting for certain entities and individualsĀ in Washington state that receive tax preferences.

Tax preferences include tax exclusions, deductions, exemptions, preferential tax rates, deferrals and credits. Washington state has more than 650 tax preferences.

Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, who prime-sponsored House Bill 1296, says forĀ the past 10 years, the Legislature has required taxpayers who receive any of the 32 economic development-related preferences to file an annual survey or annual report to qualify for the preferences. The bill, he says, would consolidate annual tax surveys and annual tax reports into a single document known as the “tax performance report.”

“The reporting process is thorough, but it can be more efficient. This bill would decrease paperwork and make it easier and more manageable for taxpayers to submit their information in a single report. It would also increase efficiency for the Department of Revenue receiving the report, and simplify the information used by the Legislature in determining the effectiveness of tax preferences,” said Nealey, who serves as ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee. “We expect this would also have the added benefit of reducing unintentional errors.”

Under the measure, beginning in 2018, every person claiming a tax preference that required an annual report or an annual survey would file the tax performance report. That report would include information about the tax preference claimed, employment, wages, and employer-provided health and retirement benefits. The information is used to evaluate the efficacy of tax preferences and to ensure the claimant continues to qualify for the benefit.

The measure passed the House, 96-0. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications