Casten, Underwood Urge IRS to Alleviate Burden of State and Local Tax Deduction Changes on Illinois Families

January 30, 2019
Press Release
Limits to the state and local tax deduction passed in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act place uniquely large and disproportionate burden on middle-class families in the Illinois 6th and 14th Congressional Districts

WASHINGTON – As the 2019 tax-filing season opens this week, Reps. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Sean Casten (IL-6) today urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to address the disproportionate tax burden being placed upon Illinois families due to changes in the state and local tax deduction as passed in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  In a letter, the members of Congress expressed concern that current efforts by the IRS are insufficient.

“Illinoisans are already facing higher federal taxes due to the Republican tax law, which places a uniquely large burden on middle-class families in the Illinois 6th and 14th Congressional Districts. Working families are being unfairly double-taxed,” the members of Congress wrote. “This law limited the state and local tax (SALT) deduction to just $10,000 for individuals and families—a devastating financial blow to many of the nearly two million Illinois households that claim the deduction. SALT taxes allow our communities to pay law enforcement and first responders, offer high-quality public education, and provide a multitude of other services that contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

“We urge your attention to this important matter and request an update in writing on the IRS’s actions to address these burdens on Illinois taxpayers no later than February 12, 2019,” they continued.

The letter can be found in its entirety below.

Dear Commissioner Rettig:

As the 2019 tax-filing season opens, we write on behalf of Illinois working families who are being hurt by the new and disproportionate tax burdens caused by the Republican tax law that was enacted in 2017. We are concerned that the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) current efforts may be insufficient to alleviate these burdens.

Illinoisans are already facing higher federal taxes due to the Republican tax law, which places a uniquely large burden on middle-class families in the Illinois 6th and 14th Congressional Districts. As you are aware, this law limited the state and local tax (SALT) deduction to just $10,000 for individuals and families—a devastating financial blow to many of the nearly two million Illinois households that claim the deduction. SALT taxes allow our communities to pay law enforcement and first responders, offer high-quality public education, and provide a multitude of other services that contribute to the well-being of our communities. Now, however, working families are being unfairly double-taxed. We believe the penalty waiver announced by the IRS on January 16, 2019, does not sufficiently ease the financial strain that changes to the SALT deduction cause our constituents. 

These burdens are further exacerbated by the recent government shutdown. We are particularly concerned by recent news reports indicating that the IRS will continue to feel the effects of the shutdown for 12 to 18 months.  The shutdown has caused a backlog of millions of unanswered taxpayer letters and delayed the hiring and training of thousands of additional employees in preparation for the tax filing season.  Additionally, because of the high attrition rate of IRS information technology (IT) personnel resulting from the shutdown, the agency may not currently have adequate IT staffing levels for the IRS’s online filing system.  Our constituents are suffering from the effects of the Republican tax bill and the shutdown has only worsened an already dire situation.

We urge your attention to this important matter and request an update in writing on the IRS’s actions to address these burdens on Illinois taxpayers no later than February 12, 2019.

Sincerely,

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