Legislation that would streamline business and occupation tax filing dates for annual filers unanimously passed the state House of Representatives on Monday.

Rep. Luanne Van Werven, the sponsor of House Bill 1059, said the idea for the legislation came from a mental health counselor in Whatcom County.

“After the counselor came to me I started hearing from other annual filers about this issue. These taxpayers are often self-employed and rely on other businesses to send their 1099 forms in a timely manner,” said Van Werven, R-Lynden. “Unfortunately, due to federal deadlines, many taxpayers do not receive 1099s until February or March and these annual filers end up having to filing extensions.”

The filing deadline is moved to April 15 to coincide with the federal tax filing date. The legislation applies to those who make $70,000 or less.

Van Werven pointed out that not only does the legislation streamline the process for the annual filers and the Department of Revenue (DOR), there are also some cost-savings with the measure.

“The date change should lessen the time the department staff has to follow up with people by phone or letter to remind them month after month that their taxes have not been filed,” said Van Werven. “It will also alleviate the department from processing around 50,000 amendments or other requests for extensions because independent contractors have not received their 1099 forms.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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